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THE'BAHAI'REVELATION 
AND- RECONSTRUCTION 

BV-GHARLES'MASON-REMEY 


UC-NRLF 


$B    im    2b5 


Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2007  with  funding  from 

IVIicrosoft  Corporation 


http://www.archive.org/details/bahairevelationrOOremerich 


The  Bahai  Revelation 
and  Recon^lru(5tion 


The  Bahai  Revelation  and  Recon- 
struction 

A  general  brief  treatise  upon  the  history  and 
the  spiritual,  social  and  economic  principles 
of  this  religious  movement,  with  special 
regard  to  the  application  of  these 
principles  to,  and  there  influ- 
ence on,  the  coming  peace 
of   nations   and    the 
tranquillity    and 
welfare    of 
humanity 


>  *  >  >  >    ' 
»,*  >  ■ J  111  >  > 


By 
Charles  Mason  Remey 

1919 


^v 


•1 


r^ 


Note. 

This  book  is  compiled  from  previously 
approved  and  published  Bahai  writings  and 
teachings,  of  which  it  is  a  synthesis. 


<  t  c    c  c        c 

'      •■  t    <  c      <  ,    « 


Distributed  by 

Bahai  Publishing  Society, 

P.  O.  Box  283,  Chicago,  111. 


OTHER   WORKS   BY   THE   AUTHOR   OF 
THIS  BOOK. 

"The  Bahai  Movement." 

"Observations  of  a  Bahai  Traveler." 

"Bahai  Teaching." 

"Constructive  Principles  of  the  Bahai  Move- 
ment." 

"The  Mashrak-el-Azkar  (Bahai  Temple)." 

"Through  Warring  Countries  to  the  Mountain 
of  God." 

"The  Peace  of  the  World." 


416436 


DEDICATION. 

To  the  ever-increasing  number  of  men  and 
women  who  are  serving  humanity,  desiring  to 
alleviate  its  suffering,  this  booklet  is  offered 
with  the  assurance  that  in  the  religion  of  which 
it  treats  is  to  be  found  the  solution  of  the  prob- 
lems of  the  day. 


ABDUI.    BAHA 


PREFACE. 


PREFACE. 

Paramount  in  the  public  mind  at  the  present 
time  is  the  all-absorbing  plan  for  the  religious, 
social  and  economic  reconstruction  of  the  world 
and  the  arranging  of  a  lasting  peace  between 
the  nations.  The  leaders  of  thought  now  most 
prominent  before  the  world  are  advocating  many 
principles  of  reconstruction  and  world  peace 
which  are  parallel  with  those  held  by  the  adher- 
ents of  the  Bahai  Movement  and  for  which  this 
cause  has  been  paving  the  way  for  the  past  sev- 
enty-five years ;  therefore,  now,  a  volume  stating 
briefly  the  Bahai  teaching  upon  these  subjects 
should  be  well  received  by  the  thinking,  reading 
public. 

To  students  of  the  Bahai  religious  teaching 
the  facts  mentioned,  and  the  religious  philosophy 
discussed  in  this  booklet  will  be  quite  familiar, 
since  this  is  but  a  brief  resume  of  the  data  and 
thought  found  in  a  fuller  and  a  more  expanded 
form  in  the  standard  works  of  this  teaching.  To 
those  who  are  not  familiar  with  the  spirit  of  the 
Bahai  Religion  and  its  philosophy,  it  is  the  hope 
of  the  author  that  this  abridged  exposition  of 
these  teachings  may  lead  them  to  a  closer  study 
of  the  subject. 

C.  M.  R., 
Washington,  D.  C, 
December  18,  1918. 


CONTENTS. 


CONTENTS. 


Page 

Peace  Ideals 21 

The  Bahai  Religion 22 

The  Bab   23 

Persecutions    25 

Baha'o'llah 26 

The  Promised  One 27 

The  Bahai  Movement 30 

Abdul  Baha 31 

Abdul  Baha's  Service  to  Humanity 33 

Abdul  Baha's  Method  of  Teaching 34 

Abdul  Baha's  Imprisonment 35 

The  Center  of  the  Covenant 36 

Abdul  Baha's  Travels 37 

Abdul  Baha  in  the  Holy  Land 38 

The  New  Day 39 

Orient  and  Occident 40 

Religion  and  Peace 42 

Bahai  Universality   43 

Investigation  of  Religious  Truth 44 

Science  and  Religion 45 

Woman 45 

Education  47 

Fulfillment  of  Prophesy 47 

Revelation  48 

Oneness  of  All  Religion 49 

The  Bahai  Glad  Tidings 50 

Object  of  Religion 51 

Present  World  Problems 51 


Page 

Oneness  of  Humanity 52 

The  Promised  Messiah 53 

The  Bahai  Message 54 

Bahai  Sacred  Writings 55 

The  Great  Religious  Awakening 56 

Present  Religious  Outlook 57 

Influence  of  Religion 58 

Religion  and  the  Present  Problem 59 

Problem  of  Peace  or  War 60 

Interdependence  of  Nations 61 

Militarism  Conducive  to  War 63 

Bahai  Peace  Teaching 64 

Religion  and  Deeds 66 

The  Racial  Question 68 

The  Parliament  of  Nations 70 

Peace  Protection  71 

Co-operation   77 

Economic  Questions 77 

Universal  Language 78 

The  Mashrak-el-Azkar 79 

The  Method  of  Teaching 80 

Instructions    80 

Rise  and  Fall  of  Nations 81 

The  Hope  of  the  Nations 83 

Growth  of  the  Bahai  Religion 84 

An  Exhortation  by  Abdul  Baha 87 


"The  Cause  of  Baha*o'llah  is  the  same  as  the 
Cause  of  Christ.  It  is  the  same  temple  and  the 
same  foundation.  In  the  coming  of  Christ  the 
divine  teachings  were  given  in  accordance  with 
the  infancy  of  the  human  race.  The  teachings  of 
Baha'o'llah  have  the  same  basic  principles,  but 
are  according  to  the  stage  of  the  maturity  of  the 
world  and  the  requirements  of  this  illumined 
age." 

Abdul  Baha. 


THE  BAHAI  REVELATION  AND  RECON- 
STRUCTION. 


THE  BAHAI  REVELATION  AND  RECON- 
STRUCTION. 

PEACE  IDEALS. 

The  ideals  of  world  peace  and  the  brotherhood 
of  mankind  have  been  making  rapid  progress  in 
the  thought  of  the  world  during  the  past  two  or 
three  decades.  Prior  to  the  recent  war  in  Europe 
these  ideals  were  held  for  the  most  part  by  ex- 
treme idealists,  people  who  were  regarded  by 
many  as  visionary  and  Utopian  to  the  point  of 
impracticability,  but  now  that  the  war  is  over 
the  need  for  the  realization  of  these  international 
ideals  of  co-operation  and  interdependence  be- 
tween the  various  peoples,  nations  and  races  is 
being  realized  on  all  sides  and  the  world  is  ac- 
cepting these  ideals  in  the  practical  spirit  of 
wanting  to  apply  them  to  its  international  needs. 
^±^eople  in  general  are  already  anticipating  a  fed-^ 
eration  of  the  nations,  which  will  introduce  a 
new  international  system  of  relations  and  con- 
duce towards  a  civilization  in  which  the  energies 
of  men  and  women  will  no  longer  be  consumed 
by  national  rivalries,  inharmonious  contests  and 
wars,  but  these  energies  will  be  turned  into  con- 
structive channels  for  the  improvement  and 
welfare  of  the  human  race.  ^  The  soul  of  the 


THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 


r*"" 


world  of  humanity  is  only  now  beginning  to 
awaken  to  the  fact  that  the  real  heritage  of  hu- 
manity is  just  ahead;  that  we  stand  at  the 
threshold  of  the  new  day  of  the  golden  age  of 
universal  civilization,  progress  and  culture  of 
which  Christ  and  the  Prophets  testified,  for  the 
reality  of  which  They  suffered  and  shed  Their 
blood,  and  for  which  mankind  has  hoped  and 
prayed  for  centuries — that  this  new  kingdom 
might  "come  on  earth  as  it  is  in  heaven." 

In  these  latter  days  of  the  year  1918  one  can 
scarcely  scan  a  newspaper  or  a  current  maga- 
zine without  seeing  articles  which  testify  that 
the  thought  of  the  public  is  not  only  occupied 
with  many  movements  for  general  world  better- 
ment, but  thousands  of  people  are  giving  their 
time  and  devoting  their  energies  to  the  practical 
service  of  mankind  along  various  lines  of  recon- 
struction of  human  institutions,  affairs  and  re- 
lations calculated  to  meet  the  new  present  day 
needs  of  humanity,  preparing  the  way  for  greater 
reforms  and  institutions  to  come  in  the  near 
future. 


THE  BAHAI  RELIGION. 

There  is,  at  the  present  time,  a  philosophy,  a 
religious  teaching,  Ithe  followers  of  which  are 
striving  to  make  this  world  a  more  fit  place  in 
which  to  live.    This  religious  teaching  is  known 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  28 

as  the  Bahai  Religious  Movement.  The  object 
of  this  movement  is  to  further  the  spirit  of  real 
brotherhood  between  the  peoples  of  the  dif- 
ferent religions  and  races,  Oriental  and  Occi- 
dental, forming  a  common  ground  for  amicable 
international  relations  and  the  establishment  of 
a  universal  religion  which  will  be  the  foundation 
of  inter-religious,  inter-racial  and  inter-national 
brotherhood  and  peace.  The  doctrines  and. 
practices  of  this  religion  offer  to  mankind  a  prac- 
tical basis  of  unity,  one  which  is  in  direct  line 
with  the  great  world  needs  of  this  age.  It  is 
paving  the  way  spiritually  for  the  great  univers- 
al civilization  which  will  evolve  as  people  of  all 
religions,  races  and  nations  unite  both  spiritually 
and  materially  into  one  great  world  people. 

THE  BAB. 

Mirza  AH  Mohammed,  the  first  teacher  of  the 
Bahai  Cause,  was  known  as  The  Bab,  which  is 
the  Persian  and  the  Arabic  word  for  door  or 
gate.  His  teaching  began  with  the  declaration 
of  His  mission  to  eighteen  chosen  disciples  who 
were  gathered  together  in  the  city  of  Shiraz  in 
southern  Persia  on  the  twenty-third  day  of  May, 
1844.  To  these  spiritually  alive  and  prepared 
souls  The  Bab  declared  His  mission  as  fore- 
runner of  a  great  world  teacher.  One  Whom  He 
referred  to  as  "He  Whom  God  Shall  Manifest, 


Af 


24  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

the  great  divine  teacher  who  would  shortly  ap- 
pear with  manifest  signs  of  spiritual  power  and 
through  whom  the  Divine  Covenant  would  be 
fulfilled  and  the  religious  unity  of  the  world 
would  be  accomplished. 

The  Bab,  then  a  youth  of  but  nineteen  years, 
through  spiritual  wisdom  and  through  purity 
of  purpose  and  soul,  drew  unto  Himself  many 
followers,  who  in  turn  arose  to  promulgate  His 
simple  doctrines,  and  their  fervor  within  a  very 
short  time  became  the  means  of  assembling  a 
large  following.  Immediately  the  movement 
met  with  great  opposition  upon  the  part  of  the 
Persian  clergy,  and  at  their  instigation  The  Bab 
was  placed  under  military  surveillance.  Not- 
withstanding this  trouble  He  continued  His 
teaching  and  exhorted  the  people  through  purity 
of  living  to  make  ready  and  to  fit  themselves  for 
the  coming  of  the  Promised  One  who  was  short- 
ly to  appear. 

Thus  passed  the  first  two  years  of  The  Bab's 
ministry.  His  cause  had  then  so  increased  in  in- 
fluence that  the  Moslem  clergy,  fearful  of  the 
loss  of  their  hold  over  the  people,  caused  The 
Bab  to  be  seized  and  cast  into  prison ;  neverthe- 
less during  His  imprisonment  He  continued  His 
teaching  through  letters  and  epistles,  which  were 
secretly  conveyed  to  His  followers  throughout 
the  country.     After  four  years  of  confinement 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  25 

The  Bab,  upon  the  charge  of  heresy,  was  con- 
demned to  death,  and  on  July  9,  1850,  in  the  city 
of  Tabriz  in  northwestern  Persia,  He  suffered 
martyrdom  together  with  one  of  His  devoted 
followers. 

The  Bab  arose  with  steadfastness  and  power 
to  herald  the  coming  of  the  Lord  of  the  Ages. 
The  institutions  which  He  had  established  were 
therefore  temporary,  being  destined  to  bridge 
over  the  time  until  the  coming  of  the  great  teach- 
er who  would  establish  a  universal  cause.  The 
Bab  gave  very  definite  instructions  to  His  fol- 
lowers that  they,  upon  the  appearance  of  the  one 
promised,  should  turn  implicitly  to  that  one,  fol- 
lowing His  teachings  and  instructions,  in  which 
would  be  a  spiritual  power  that  would  evolve 
and  grow  until  it  filled  the  world,  unifying  all 
men  of  all  races  and  religions  in  the  Kingdom  of 
God  upon  earth. 

PERSECUTIONS. 

As  the  cause  of  The  Bab  spread  throughout 
Persia,  the  most  dire  troubles  and  persecutions 
descended  upon  the  believers,  who  were  known 
as  Babis.  The  Mohammedans  fell  upon  them, 
destroying  their  properties  and  killing  men,  wom- 
en and  children.  Over  twenty  thousand  believ- 
ers willingly  gave  up  property,  family  and  life 
rather  than  deny  their  faith,  which  act  would,  in 


26  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

most  cases,  have  saved  them.  In  Persia  even  as 
late  as  1901  there  were  over  one  hundred  and 
seventy  believers  martyred  at  one  time  in  the 
city  of  Yazd. 

BAHA'O'LLAH. 

The  Promised  One,  Baha'o'Uah,  a  youth  de- 
scended from  a  family  of  nobility  and  prominence 
in  Persia,  appeared  at  the  time  and  place  fore- 
told by  The  Bab.  He  arose  with  vigor  and 
force,  upholding  and  publicly  teaching  the  truths 
taught  by  The  Bab.  Shortly  after  The  Bab's 
martyrdom,  when  the  great  persecutions  of  the 
believers  began,  Baha'o'Uah  with  others  of  the 
new  faith  was  cast  into  an  underground  dungeon 
in  Teheran,  Persia,  and  with  chains  about  His 
neck  He  was  held  prisoner  while  His  properties 
were  pillaged  and  confiscated.  Most  of  Baha- 
'o'llah's  fellow  prisoners  were  killed,  while  He 
with  some  of  the  believers  was  finally  sent  in 
exile  to  Baghdad  in  Irak-Arabi. 

In  Baghdad  Baha'ollah  arose  vdth  spiritual 
power  and  divine  dominion  to  spread  the  new 
faith.  He  labored  to  bring  strength  and  assur- 
ance to  the  Babis  and  He  breathed  into  them  a 
new  spirit,  for  the  massacres  and  persecutions 
had  thrown  them  into  a  most  lamentable  condi- 
tion of  both  mental  and  physical  distress.  At 
one  time  Baha'o'Uah  went  from  Baghdad  alone 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  27 

into  the  mountain  fastnesses  of  Kurdistan,  and 
there  for  two  years  He  lived  the  life  of  a  recluse, 
preparing  Himself  spiritually  for  His  coming 
mission.  Then  He  returned  to  Baghdad  to  care 
for  and  to  lead  the  people. 

THE  PROMISED  ONE. 

In  The  Bab's  prophetic  writings  there  were 
found  many  passages,  through  the  spiritual  in- 
terpretation of  which  the  people  were  to  be  en- 
abled to  recognize  the  Promised  One  who  would 
follow  after  Him,  and  as  the  believers  came  more 
and  more  under  Baha*o'llah*s  guidance  they 
realized  the  profoundness  of  His  divine  knowl- 
edge and  they  looked  upon  Him  as  their  guide. 
In  the  coming  of  Baha'o'llah  was  the  fulfillment 
of  The  Bab's  promise,  the  coming  of  The  An- 
cient of  Days,  The  Lord  of  Hosts,  to  which  The 
Bab  had  testified  by  a  life  of  service  and  by 
martyrdom. 

Through  Baha'o'llah's  wisdom  and  spiritual 
insight  there  came  calmness,  assurance  and 
strength  to  the  followers.  But  as  the  movement 
increased  in  numbers  the  fanaticism  of  the  Mus- 
sulman clergy  against  the  believers  continued 
to  increase  rather  than  diminish,  until  finally  at 
the  instigation  of  these  priests  an  international 
agreement  was  made  between  the  despotic 
King  of  Persia  and  the  Sultan  of  Turkey,  through 


28  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

which  arrangement  Baha'o'Uah  and  a  band  of 
His  followers  were  ordered  to  a  more  distant 
exile  in  Constantinople  in  order  to  separate  them 
from  the  believers  in  Persia,  for  the  Moham- 
medans were  fearful  lest  their  own  religion 
Would  be  overthrown  by  this  new  faith. 

Upon  the  eve  of  His  departure  from  Irak- 
Arabi  to  Constantinople  in  April,  1863,  Baha- 
*o'llah  declared  Himself,  to  His  most  trusted  fol- 
lowers, to  be  the  One  to  whom  The  Bab  had 
borne  witness  as  "He  Whom  God  Shall  Mani- 
fest." After  a  long  journey,  overland  and  by  sea, 
Baha'o'llah  with  His  band  of  exiles  arrived  in 
Constantinople,  where  He  remained  for  several 
months.  Then  He  was  sent  still  farther  on  to 
Adrianople  in  Roumelia,  in  order  to  separate 
Him  as  far  as  possible  from  the  world  which  His 
cause  was  agitating. 

After  five  years  of  exile  in  Adrianople,  Tur- 
key, during  which  the  cause  continued  to  grow 
both  inwardly  and  outwardly  in  strength,  an- 
other decree,  issued  by  the  despotic  Ottoman 
government,  ordered  Baha'o'llah  to  be  sent  to 
the  prison  fortress  town  of  Akka  (Acre),  a  Turk- 
ish penal  colony  on  the  Mediterranean  sea  just 
north  of  Mount  Carmel  in  Syria.  In  this  land  of 
Sharon  and  Carmel  where,  according  to  the  an- 
cient prophets,  the  Messiah  would  appear  and 
the  Glory  of  God  would  be  manifest  in  the  latter 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  29 

days,  Baha'o'Uah  lived  and  taught.  During  the 
first  two  years  in  the  Holy  Land  He  was  closely 
guarded  within  the  prison  of  the  fortress  of  Akka, 
but  soon  His  greatness  became  so  apparent  to 
the  prison  officers  and  He  manifested  such  spir- 
itual power  that  they  showed  Him  great  consid- 
eration, and  were  most  kind  and  friendly,  for 
they  saw  only  truth  and  perfect  righteousness 
in  Him.  Thus  the  material  condition  of  the 
Bahai  community  was  greatly  benefitted.  First 
Baha'o'Uah  was  allowed  the  liberty  of  the  fort- 
ress city,  then  His  tent  was  pitched  upon  the 
Mount  of  Carmel,  and  He  spent  much  of  His 
time  at  Behje,  a  villa  upon  the  plain  of  Akka. 

During  these  years  many  believers  and  truth- 
seekers  came  great  distances  to  visit  Baha'o'Uah 
and  receive  from  Him  spiritual  understanding, 
they  in  turn  going  forth  to  spread  His  cause  in 
the  far  parts  of  the  world.  Through  His  Tablets 
or  epistles  Baha'o'llah  reached  many  people  in 
distant  lands,  answering  their  questions  and  giv- 
ing them  spiritual  advice.  He  also  wrote  many 
general  treatises  upon  spiritual  subjects.  These 
contain  explanations  of  the  principles  of  His 
teachings,  as  well  as  certain  general  admoni- 
tions and  ordnances  through  the  observance  of 
which  mankind  will  evolve  to  a  high  state  of 
mjaterial  and  spiritual  welfare.  In  His  writings 
Baha'o'Uah  unlocked  the  mysteries  of  the  spir- 


30  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

itual  truths  in  the  holy  books  of  the  religions  of 
the  past.  He  clearly  demonstrated  that  all  truth 
is  one  truth,  and  that  all  prophets  have  mani- 
fested the  one  same  spirit  of  God. 

THE  BAHAI  MOVEMENT. 

With  the  coming  of  Baha'o'Uah  and  the  estab- 
lishment of  His  religion  the  mission  of  His  fore- 
runner, The  Bab,  was  completed,  and  the  Babi 
Cause  became  the  Bahai  Cause.  The  mission  of 
The  Bab  being  practically  confined  to  Persia  and 
to  a  few  neighboring  countries.  His  ordinances 
and  teachings  were  calculated  to  meet  the  local 
needs  and, conditions  there  extant.  The  mission 
of  Baha'o'Uah  being  to  the  whole  world,  His 
teachings  were  universal  in  character  and  were 
directly  applicable  to  any  and  all  conditions  of 
men,  irrespective  of  race,  religion  or  degree  of 
human  attainment. 

In  the  month  of  May,  1892,  after  forty  years 
of  spiritual  labor,  Baha'o'Uah  departed  this  life. 
He  had  given  His  teachings  to  the  world,  in  their 
entirety,  and  His  direct  mission  was  completed, 
yet  there  was  more  work  to  be  done  in  order  to 
establish  His  cause  in  the  world.  The  spirit  of 
the  Bahai  teachings  remained  to  be  practically 
demonstrated  in  the  world.  For  the  accomplish- 
ment of  this  Baha'o'Uah  exhorted  His  followers 
to  look  toward  His  son,  Abdul  Baha,  as  the  ex- 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  31 

pounder  of  His  teachings,  upon  whose  shoulders 
His  mantle  would  fall,  and  through  whose  serv- 
ice to  humanity  the  life  of  the  Kingdom  would 
be^'demonstrated  to  all  mankind.  In  order  to 
insure  the  unity  and  solidarity  of  the  cause,  and 
to  protect  the  believers  from  disunion  and  dif- 
ferences, Baha'o'Uah  in  two  different  places  in 
the  Book  of  Akdas  (one  of  His  chief  writings) 
commanded  His  followers  after  His  departure 
to  turn  their  faces  to  "The  Branch  Extended 
from  the  Ancient  Root,"  and  to  refer  all  matters 
to  "The  Center  of  The  Covenant,"  which  center 
is  Abdul  Baha.  Also,  in  the  Book  of  The  Testa- 
ment, Baha'o'Uah  explains  that  by  "The  Branch 
Extended  from  the  Ancient  Root"  is  meant  the 
"Greatest  Branch,"  Abdul  Baha,  to  whom  all 
should  turn. 

ABDUL  BAHA. 

Abdul  Baha  was  born  in  Teheran  in  northern 
Persia,  upon  the  23rd  day  of  May,  1844,  the  very 
day  upon  which  The  Bab  gathered  His  disciples 
together  in  southern  Persia  and  there  made  His 
declaration.  Abdul  Baha  was  named  Abbas, 
Abdul  Baha  (The  Servant  of  God)  being  his 
spiritual  title,  the  name  by  which  he  is  known  as 
a  spiritual  teacher. 

In  the  accounts  of  Abdul  Baha  handed  down 
by  those  who  knew  him  when  a  child  we  are 


S2  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

told  that  at  an  early  age  he  showed  a  contem- 
plative and  deeply  spiritual  nature  combined  with 
a  highly  forceful  and  active  disposition.  When 
he  was  only  eight  years  old,  the  greatest  perse- 
cution of  the  Bahais  began  in  Persia  and  it  was 
but  a  short  time  after  this  that  he  went  into  exile 
with  his  father,  Baha'o'Uah. 

During  the  ten  years  spent  with  Baha'o'Uah, 
in  Baghdad,  Abdul  Baha  passed  from  childhood 
into  adolescence  and  manhood.  Because  of  the 
vicissitudes  of  the  exile  he  never  attended  school, 
but  through  constant  association  with  Baha- 
'o'llah  and  devotion  and  service  in  the  cause 
Abdul  Baha  grew  strong  in  knowledge,  in  wis- 
dom and  in  spiritual  attainments.  As  he  at- 
tained maturity,  he  became  Baha'o'Uah's  chief 
aid  and  support  in  carrying  on  His  work.  It  was 
Abdul  Baha  who  first  interviewed  all  persons 
who  came  to  confer  with  Baha'o'llah,  and  so 
ordered  matters  that  Baha'o'llah  could  meet 
those  having  spiritual  desires  and  capacity  and 
who  needed  Him,  without  losing  time  with  those 
who  came  only  through  curiosity.  During  those 
days,  Baha'o'Uah  was  visited  by  many  believers 
from  Persia,  as  well  as  by  truth  seekers  from 
among  various  religions  and  nations.  Abdul 
Baha  himself  also  taught  the  people  diligently, 
and  he  discussed  religious  principles  with  learned 
theologians,  who  marveled  at  his  wisdom  and  his 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  33 

interpretation  of  spiritual  teachings.  They  could 
not  understand  how  this  youth,  uneducated  from 
their  standard  of  erudition,  could  produce  with 
great  ease  and  fluency  arguments  that  none 
could  refute  or  gainsay,  for  he  had  never  attend- 
ed a  college  or  university,  as  is  the  custom 
among  Oriental  savants  and  theologians. 

When  the  time  came  for  Baha'o'Uah  to  reveal 
Himself  as  the  Promised  One  of  all  religions,  it 
was  Abdul  Baha  who  first  recognized  Him  in 
His  divine  capacity,  and  it  was  Abdul  Baha  who 
first  voiced  the  mighty  message  of  the  Mani- 
festation of  the  Spirit  of  God  among  men. 

ABDUL  BAHA'S  SERVICE  TO 
HUMANITY. 

Abdul  Baha's  life  has  been  one  of  service  to 
the  Bahai  Cause.  During  the  exile  journeys  of 
Baha'o'llah  and  His  followers,  and  the  imprison- 
ment in  Adrianople  and  Akka,  Abdul  Baha  was 
constantly  serving  spiritually  and  materially. 
When  persecution  was  at  its  height,  he  encour- 
aged the  people,  comforted  them,  and  gave  them 
hope,  and  when  sickness  and  disease  broke  out 
among  the  Bahais,  while  they  were  confined  in 
the  prison  of  Akka,  Abdul  Baha  was  the  chief 
nurse  and  servant  of  all. 

It  is  often  remarked  that  when  in  repose  Abdul 
Baha  appears  much  older  than  his  real  age.  This 


34  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

is  undoubtedly  true,  for  he  has  had  to  bear  not 
only  his  own  trials  but  also  the  troubles  of  the 
people  who  have  surrounded  him  from  time  to 
tim^,  depending  upon  him  to  help  carry  their 
burdens  and  share  their  troubles.  But  when 
Abdul  Baha  speaks,  voicing  the  Bahai  Message 
of  Glad  Tidings  to  the  world,  one  soon  becomes 
aware  that  the  spirit  Which  proceeds  from  him 
to  those  whom  he  teaches  is  not  a  spirit  capable 
of  being  affected  by  age  nor  earthly  conditions, 
but  is  the  spirit  of  eternal  life  which  gives  hope, 
vigor  and  happiness  to  all  who  partake  of  it. 

The  great  desire  of  Abdul  Baha  is  to  be  known 
as  the  servant  of  God.  In  his  life  of  service  is 
seen  the  power,  glory  and  majesty  of  Baha'o'llah, 
who  declared  His  son  to  be  "The  Center  of  The 
Covenant"  and  "the  Greatest  Branch  from  the 
Pre-Existent  Root."  Through  Abdul  Baha's 
service  the  spiritual  glory  of  Baha'o'llah  is  being 
manifested  in  the  world  today,  and  the  Kingdom 
of  the  Father  is  being  realized  here  upon  the 
earth. 

ABDUL  BAHA'S  METHOD  OF  TEACHING. 

Abdul  Baha*s  method  of  teaching  spiritual 
truths  is  direct  and  concrete.  He  reaches  the 
heart  and  through  spiritual  contact  penetrates 
the  soul  of  the  individual.  Many  beautiful  and 
touching  incidents  are  related  in  the  Orient  of 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  35 

the  way  in  which,  through  long  suffering  and 
kindness,  he  has  won  the  hearts  of  those  who, 
because  of  their  prejudices,  formerly  were  his 
enemies.  Caring  for  the  sick  and  protecting  the 
oppressed  form  a  large  part  of  his  daily  duties. 
One  of  the  titles  applied  to  him  in  the  Orient  is 
"father  of  the  poor." 

Abdul  Baha's  power  is  that  of  love.  In  go- 
ing into  his  presence  something  within  one's  soul 
seems  to  respond  to  his  soul.  Thus  a  spiritual 
bond  is  formed  which  is  most  far-reaching,  for  it 
is  of  the  nature  of  divine  love  and  always  remains 
with  one.  Through  his  life  and  example  he  is 
teaching  people  the  life  and  the  way  of  the  King- 
dom. He  has  a  message  for  every  one,  and  as  one 
meets  and  contacts  with  him  in  spirit  it  is  as  if 
a  new  force  were  added  to  one's  nature.  The 
power  of  the  love  of  God  is  brought  very  close  to 
those  who  come  in  contact  with  Abdul  Baha. 

ABDUL  BAHA'S  IMPRISONMENT. 

Abdul  Baha  remained  in  Akka  a  prisoner  for 
just  forty  years.  His  freedom  came  through  an 
adjustment  of  governmental  matters,  brought 
about  by  the  re-establishment  of  the  Turkish  con- 
stitution in  the  summer  of  1908.  During  this  con- 
finement, Abdul  Baha  was  yearly  visited  by 
friends  and  followers  from  all  parts  of  the  world, 
although  often  it  was  with  the  greatest  difficulty 


36  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

that  these  friends  were  able  to  see  him,  and  some- 
times the  interviews  were  perforce  very  brief. 
Notwithstanding  these  conditions,  each  pilgrim 
received  bounteously  from  Abdul  Baha,  who  is 
the  source  of  the  spiritual  life  of  the  Bahai  world, 
and  then  hastened  to  his  or  to  her  own  country 
to  share  this  gift  of  God  with  others. 

THE  CENTER  OF  THE  COVENANT. 

t^  The  followers  of  the  Bahai  Religion  are  held 
together  by  a  powerful  spirit  of  love  for  Abdul 
Baha.  As  the  life  blood  goes  from  the  heart  to 
each  organ  of  the  body,  nourishing  and  bringing 
it  into  functional  relation  with  every  other  organ, 
so  from  Abdul  Baha,  who  is  the  center  and  heart 
of  the  Bahai  Cause,  goes  forth  the  spirit  of  the 
love  of  God  to  each  of  the  multitude  of  its  mem- 
bers. All  who  have  experienced  this  spiritual 
contact  with  Abdul  Baha  realize  that  in  reality 
he  is  different  and  apart  from  other  men.  To 
each  one  who  has  had  this  experience  it  has  been 
demonstrated  in  a  unique  manner,  primarily  for 
the  individual's  own  personal  enlightenment.  Ab- 
dul Baha's  mission  as  "The  Center  of  The  Cov- 
enant" holds  the  Bahais  together  in  an  organic 
body,  and  through  the  channel  of  his  life  of  serv- 
ice the  Bahai  spirit  is  forming  a  new  religious  life 
in  the  world. 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  37 

ABDUL  BAHA'S  TRAVELS. 

After  his  freedom  Abdul  Baha  began  to  travel. 
Two  winters  he  spent  in  Egypt,  the  summer  and 
fall  of  the  year  1911  he  spent  in  London  and  in 
Paris,  and  it  will  be  recalled  by  many  persons 
that  Abdul  Baha  visited  America  in  1912,  deliver- 
ing addresses  in  various  cities  and  towns,  explain- 
ing the  Bahai  principles  and  their  application  to 
the  present-day  religious,  social  and  economic 
needs  of  humanity.  Even  up  to  as  short  a  time 
as  six  years  ago  many  people  regarded  the  uni- 
versality of  the  philosophy  taught  by  Abdul 
Baha  as  far  too  great  a  step  to  be  taken  from 
the  particular  and  familiar  philosophy  of  the 
past  into  the  unexplored  universal  realm  of  re- 
ligious thinking  of  the  future.  But  the  pres- 
ent general  thinking  world  can  with  a  quickened 
religious  perception  look  back  and  see  the  po- 
tency of  Abdul  Baha's  teaching,  now  realizing 
that  he  with  his  message  was  simply  ahead  of  and 
beyond  the  understanding  of  the  general  prevail- 
ing world  of  religious  thought  of  that  time.  How- 
ever, conditions  in  the  world  have  so  changed 
during  the  past  few  years,  that  the  time  of 
restricted  thought  has  now  passed,  and  humanity 
is  now  more  awake  than  ever  before  to  the  vital 
spiritual  principles  of  religion,  progress  and  civ- 
ilization.   During  these  travels  Abdul  Baha  met 


88  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

people  who  were  attracted  by  the  spirit  of  the 
Bahai  Cause,  and  he  sowed  spiritual  seeds  in  their 
hearts  which  will  grow  in  God's  own  time  and 
bring  forth  the  fruit  of  the  Kingdom. 

ABDUL  BAHA  IN  THE  HOLY  LAND. 

During  the  past  five  years  of  war,  Abdul  Baha 
has  been  in  the  Holy  Land.  Recent  telegraphic 
reports  from  the  advancing  British  army  in  Pal- 
estine announce  that  he  is  safe  and  living  on 
Mount  Carmel,  surrounded  by  a  group  of  follow- 
ers. In  a  recent  letter  written  by  Abdul  Baha  to 
friends  in  Teheran,  Persia,  he  portrays  the  then 
present  condition  in  Palestine  in  the  following 
terms: 

"It  has  been  a  long  time  since  the  thread  of 
correspondence  has  been  entirely  broken,  and  the 
hearts  (of  the  people  here)  have  been  affected 
with  sorrow  and  agitation.  Now  praise  be  to  God 
that  in  these  days,  through  divine  favor,  the  black 
clouds  are  dispersed  and  the  light  of  composure 
and  tranquillity  has  enlightened  this  region,  and 
the  tyrannous  (Turkish)  government  is  done 
away  with  and  followed  by  a  just  (British)  ad- 
ministration. All  the  people  have  been  de- 
livered from  the  most  great  hardships  and  the 
most  difficult  afflictions.  In  this  huge  tempest 
and  violent  revolution,  in  which  all  nations  of  the 
world  were  caught  and  were  involved  in  dire  ca- 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  89 

lamity,  cities  were  destroyed,  souls  were  slaugh- 
tered, properties  were  pillaged  and  taken  as 
booty,  the  cries  and  lamentations  of  the  helpless 
ones  were  raised  from  every  prominent  spot,  and 
the  tears  fell  from  the  eyes  of  the  orphans  like  a 
flowing  torrent  in  all  the  oppressed  countries. 
*  *  *  It  has  mjeanwhile  become  evident  that 
the  teachings  of  His  Holiness  Baha'o'Uah  are  the 
cause  of  the  comfort  and  illumination  of  the 
world  of  humanity.  In  the  Tablets  (letters  of 
Baha'o'Uah)  the  justice  and  the  administrative 
sagacity  of  the  government  of  England  have  been 
repeatedly  dwelt  upon,  and  now  it  has  become 
clear  that  in  reality  the  inhabitants  of  this  coun- 
try after  untold  sufferings  have  attained  to  com- 
posure and  security." 

THE  NEW  DAY. 

I  Abdul  Baha  teaches  that  the  world  is  in  the 
beginning  of  a  new  age  and  that  "this  is  a  new 
cycle  of  human  power.,  j  All  the  horizons  of  the 
world  are  luminous,  and  the  world  will  become 
indeed  as  a  garden  and  a  paradise.ilt  is  the  hour 
of  the  unity  of  the  sons  of  men  and  of  the  draw- 
ing together  of  all  races  and  all  classes,!  The 
gift  of  God  to  this  enlightened  age  is  the  knowl- 
edge of  the  oneness  of  mankind  and  the  funda- 
mental oneness  of  religion.  War  shall  cease  be- 
tween nations,  and  by  the  will  of  God  the  Most 


40  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

Great  Peace  shall  come;  the  world  will  be  seen 
as  a  new  world,  and  all  men  will  live  as  brothers." 
As  with  each  of  the  vital  messages  of  truth  as 
given  by  the  inspired  Prophets  or  Manifestations 
of  God  in  the  past  ages,  the  Bahai  message  of 
universal  religion  comes  at  a  time  of  the  greatest 
world  need,  for  in  this  day  the  creeds  and  the 
dogmas  of  the  past  have  lost  their  spiritual  pow- 
er, and  the  world  is  reaching  out  for  a  religion 
which  will  be  a  living  spiritual  factor  in  the  life 
of  humanity.  The  Bahai  Movement  is  a  religious 
cause,  the  institutions  and  spirit  of  which  are  not 
founded  upon  the  human  thought  of  past  days. 
Being  above  and  beyond  the  natural  trend  of 
thought,  this  cause  is  forming  within  the  souls 
of  men  higher  ideals,  thoughts  and  actions  com- 
mensurate with  the  present  and  future  needs  of 
humanity,  and  these  high  ideals  are  ushering  in 
the  beginning  of  a  greater  civilization  than  the 
world  has  yet  seen. 

ORIENT  AND  OCCIDENT. 

The  Orient  has  been  the  source  of  the  world's 
inspiration,  while  in  the  Occident  has  appeared 
the  fruition  of  this  inspiration  in  the  form  of  a 
highly  evolved  civilization.  As  from  Asia  the 
Caucasian  peoples  swept  westward  from  time  to 
time  in  great  wave  movements  to  rule  the  world, 
so  have  the  spiritual  truths  brought  by  Christ  and 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  41 

the  Prophets — the  givers  o£  religion  to  the  world 
—had  their  dawnings  or  points  of  appearance  in 
the  East,  for  these  great  divine  personages  each 
appeared  in  Asia,  and  from  her  shores  Their  fol- 
lowers and  disciples  embarked  to  carry  Their 
messages  of  truth  to  the  peoples  of  the  other 
continents.     However,  in  this  day  and  age  the 
Orient  and  her  people  are  widely  separated  from 
the  Western  world.    Enmity,  suspicion  and  laclT* 
of  confidence  and  understanding  between  the  Ori- 
ental and  Occidental  peoples  are  the  greatest 
obstacles  to  be  overcome  before  universal  broth- 
erhood and  a  real  peace  can  be  realized  in  the 
world.    This  present  gulf  between  the  Orient  and 
the  Occident  is  the  result  of  ages  of  differing 
civilizations   which   have   been   evolved   by   re- 
ligious systems  and  philosophies  foreign  to  one    ^ 
another,  for  the  civilization  of  a  people,  with  its  / 
many  institutions  of  education,  its  language,  its  | 
arts,  its  philosophy,  and  even  the  very  tempera-  | 
ment  of  the  people  themselves,  are  but  the  result  j 
or  the  fruitage  of  their  religious  ideals  past  and  I 
present  and  those  of  their  forebears. 

Here  in  the  Occident  our  civilization  and  tem- 
perament are  equally  the  result  of  the  spirit  of  our 
philosophy  and  the  ideals  of  the  life  and  education 
under  which  we  are  trained. 

The  Oriental  is  essentially  a  mystic  and  an 
ardent  religionist.     With  him  his  religion  is  by 


fa 


42  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

far  the  most  important  interest  he  has  in  life. 
If  he  is  superstitious,  his  fanaticism  is  without 
limit,  but  if  his  soul  is  alive  with  the  true  and  the 
real  spirit  of  religion  he  is  another  being;  he  is  a 
conscious  and  a  self-acknowledged  factor  in  the 
great  world  of  humanity  and  its  oneness. 

It  is  upon  the  religious  ground  that  the  Oriental 
and  the  Occidental  can  meet  in  common  under- 
standing and  comradship.  Through  the  Bahai 
teachings  this  chasm  between  the  East  and  the 
West  is  bridged,  and  now  in  this  movement  Ori- 
entals and  Occidentals  are  meeting  on  a  common 
ground  of  religious  sympathy,  understanding  and 
brotherhood. 
L. 

RELIGION  AND  PEACE. 

Religious  differences  have  been  the  chief  cause 
of  warfare,  for  the  bloodiest  of  battles  have  been 
fought  between  opposing  religious  factions,  while 
religious  sympathy  and  understanding  have  al- 
ways made  for  peace  and  prosperity.  \  Prior  to 
the  beginning  of  the  Bahai  Movement  little  or 
nothing  was  being  generally  taught  or  written 
^jy.  /  about  peace,  arbitration,  universal  language,  suf- 

^       V^\  ^^^S^  ^^  ^^y  ^^  *^^  other  universal  institutions 
hA^         1  through  which  people  now  realize  cire  to  be  found 
*  '  the  tranquillity  and  the  progress  and  advancement 

of  humanity.  During  the  past  half  century  the 
world  has  awakened  to  the  necessity  for  all  of 


■A 


AND   RECONSTRUCTION  43 

these  institutions,  and  now  the  most  enlightened 
people  are  realizing  that  theflack  of  spiritual  or 
religious  understanding,  with  the  accompanying 
lack  of  moral  perception,  is  the  real  cause  of  all 
human  iUs^J  While  Baha'o'Uah's  teaching  was 
ahead  of  the  world  of  His  day,  the  world  of  today 
is  realizing  more  and  more,  as  time  goes  on,  the 
value  of  that  teaching. 

BAHAI  UNIVERSALITY. 

The  adherents  of  the  Bahai  teaching  have  no 
church  organization  or  form  of  enrolled  member- 
ship. They  are  composed  of  people  of  various 
denominations,  sects  and  religions  who,  aroused 
by  the  quickening  religious  spirit  of  this  present 
age,  are  banded  together  and  spiritually  united  in 
their  efforts  to  infuse  into  all  humanity  these 
progressive  religious  ideals.  These  they  believe 
to  be  the  fundamental  principles  of  the  great 
world  civilization  which  will  evolve  as  the  spirit 
of  internationalism  grows  and  peoples  and  na- 
tions arise  to  co-ordinate  in  all  their  activities, 
thus  forming  an  interdependent  federation  en- 
compassing the  entire  world  and  all  of  its  peoples. 

Regarding  this  movement,  Abdul  Baha  makes 
the  following  statement :  "The  Bahai  Movement 
is  not  an  organization.  You  can  never  organize 
the  Bahai  Cause.  The  Bahai  Movement  is  the 
spirit  of  this  age.    It  is  the  essence  of  all  the  high- 


/ 


44  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

/  est  ideals  of  this  century.  The  Bahai  Cause  is  an 
inclusive  movement;  the  teachings  of  all  the  re- 
ligions and  societies  are  found  here;  the  Chris- 
tians, Jews,  Buddhists,  Mohammedans,  Zoroastri- 
ans,  Theosophists,  Freemasons,  Spiritualists,  etc., 
find  their  highest  aims  in  this  cause  *  *  *  the 
Socialists  and  Philosophers  find  their  theories 
fully  developed  in  this  movement." 

INVESTIGATION  OF  RELIGIOUS  TRUTH. 

One  finds  in  the  Bahai  teaching  the  following 
principles:  "No  man  should  follow  blindly  his 
ancestors  and  forefathers;  nay,  each  must  see 
with  his  own  eyes,  hear  with  his  own  ears,  and 
investigate  truth  in  order  that  he  may  find  the 
truth." 

One  welcomes  a  religion  with  assurance  which 
not  only  allows  but  advocates  that  the  individual 
shall  inquire  into  the  realities  of  religion,  since  so 
much  of  the  creed  and  dogma  of  the  religions  of 
the  past  have  forbidden  people  from  investigating 
for  themselves,  but  rather  imposed  upon  them  the 
beliefs  and  religious  forms  of  their  forefathers, 
which  were  not  to  be  questioned.  The  supersti- 
tions of  the  past  would  not  have  persisted  as  long 
as  they  did  if  people  had  understood  the  reality 
of  religion.  The  proof  of  this  is  now  that  people 
are  stud5dng  into  the  true  principles  of  religion, 
the  superstitions  are  disappearing,  and  the  peo- 


u 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  45 

pie  are  becoming  free  from  the  incubus  of  re- 
ligious imaginings. 

SCIENCE  AND  RELIGION. 

Abdul  Baha  teaches  that  "religion  must  be  rea^ 
sonable ;  it  must  agree  perfectly  with  science,  so  I 
that  science  shall  sanction  religion,  and  religion  / 
sanction  science.    The  two  must  be  brought  to-  I 
gether,  indissolubly  in  the  reality.    Down  to  thej 
present  day  it  has  been  customary  for  man  to  ac- 
cept a  thing  because  it  was  called  religion,  even 
though  it  were  not  in  accord  with  human  reason." 

The  imaginations  and  superstitions  of  many  of 
the  religious  systems  of  the  past  are  incompatible 
with  common  sense  and  science,  for  they  are  but 
the  thoughts  and  the  imaginings  of  men  of  past 
ages.  The  universal  basic  spiritual  truths  of  the 
many  religions,  as  differentiated  from  the  super- 
stitions incorporated  in  their  theological  and  dog- 
matic humanly  evolved  systems  of  thought,  are 
scientific  and  in  conformity  with  the  known  laws 
of  science.  The  Bahais  believe  that  when  men  un^ 
derstand  the  true  principles  of  religion  no  conflict^ 
will  be  found  between  these  truths  and  the  ma-/ 
terial  sciences.  1 

WOMAN. 

The  advent  of  this  movement  has  found  a  large 
and  growing  response  among  progressive  women 
the  world  around,  but  particularly  is  its  effect  to 


46  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

be  noted  among  the  women  of  the  Orient,  Among 
the  most  prominent  of  The  Bab's  followers  was 
Kurrat-ul-Ayn,  poetess  and  heroine  of  this  cause, 
who,  after  an  eventful  career,  in  which  she  stood 
forth  as  a  confirmed  exponent  of  the  new  faith, 
suffered  a  mart5n:'s  death  at  the  hands  of  the 
Mohammedan  ecclesiastics  because  of  her  activ- 
ities in  her  religious  propaganda.  As  a  spiritual 
disciple  of  this  new  age  and  a  woman  many  de- 
cades ahead  of  her  time,  her  life  is  an  inspiration 
to  all,  and  especially  to  her  sisters  of  the  Orient, 
who,  through  the  cause  for  which  she  died,  are 
now  being  lifted  from  their  former  condition  of 
ignorance,  superstition  and  oppression  into  a  state 
of  knowledge  and  freedom. 

Regarding  the  equality  of  men  and  women, 
Abdul  Baha  says :  "This  is  peculiar  to  the  teach- 
ings of  Baha'o'llah,  for  all  former  religious  sys- 
'^ems  placed  men  above  women.  Daughters  and 
sons  must  follow  the  same  form  of  study  and  the 
same  education.  Having  one  course  of  education 
promotes  unity  among  mankind." 

In  the  Mohammedan  world  the  condition  of 
woman  is  so  closely  allied  to  and  prescribed  by 
the  religious  tenets  that  the  value  of  true  relig- 
ious doctrines  will  readily  be  recognized.  A  liv- 
ing religious  enthusiasm  is  needed  to  give  force 
to  this  modern  movement  among  Moslem  women, 
for  it  must  first  combat  and  overcome  the  preju- 


AND   RECONSTRUCTION  47 

dice,  ignorance  and  fanaticism  of  the  Moslem 
clerical  doctrinaires  before  education  and  enlight- 
enment can  reach  into  the  time-honored  but 
darkened  seclusion  of  the  women. 

Through  a  broad  and  liberal  education  along 
material  lines,  balanced  by  a  knowledge  of  man's 
moral  and  spiritual  duties,  the  Bahais  believe  that 
the  superstitions  of  the  past  will  disappear  and 
with  them  the  prejudice  and  ignorance  which 
have  always  made  for  man's  limitation.     TheH 
Bahai  Movement  stands  strongly  for  the  educa-  / 
tion  of  woman,  even  going  so  far  as  to  teach  that  / 
it  is  more  necessary  for  parents  to  educate  their 
girls  than  their  boys.    Women  being  the  mothers 
and  the  first  teachers  of  the  race,  it  is  more  neces 
sary  that  they  be  educated  than  men. 

EDUCATION. 

Abdul  Baha  says:  "All  mankind  should  par- 
take of  both  knowledge  and  education,  and  this 
partaking  of  knowledge  and  of  education  is  one 
of  the  necessities  of  religion.  The  education  of 
each  child  is  obligatory.  If  there  are  no  parents, 
the  community  must  look  after  the  child.  Each 
person  should  have  his  part  of  the  sciences." 

FULFILLMENT  OF  PROPHESY. 

From  the  religious  viewpoint  this  teaching  of- 
fers to  the  world  the  fulfillment  of  the  revelations 
of  the  past,  an  all-inclusive,  universal  teaching,  so 


leces-j 


48  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

broad  that  people  of  all  races  and  of  all  creeds 
find  a  place  therein.  It  is  essentially  a  religious 
movement,  a  spiritual  teaching,  free  from  the  lim- 
itations of  sect  and  "ism,"  and  constructive  in  its 
building  upon  the  faith  of  the  individual  and  upon 
the  pure  teachings  of  the  past,  thus  increasing 
love  and  devotion  for  God  and  creating  within 
each  soul  the  desire  to  manifest  these  divine 
bounties  through  brotherly  service  to  one's  fel- 
lowmen.  The  teaching  holds  that  mankind  needs 
and  seeks  spiritual  guidance.  This  divine  guid- 
ance has  always  come  to  humanity  through  the 
instrumentality  of  the  prophets  or  revealers  of 
truth.  These  chosen  souls  have  been  the  found- 
ers of  the  great  religious  world  movements.  They 
have  manifested  the  Spirit  of  God  to  the  people 
of  the  world,  and  through  these  divine  manifesta- 
tions men  have  known  God  and  have  become 
quickened  by  the  spirit  and  brought  into  that  state 
known  as  the  life  eternal. 

REVELATION. 

The  foundation  of  the  Bahai  philosophy  is  ex- 
pressed in  this  short  quotation  from  one  of  Baha- 
'o'Uah's  writings :  "The  root  of  all  knowledge  is 
the  knowledge  of  God.  Glory  be  to  Him!  and 
this  knowledge  is  impossible  save  through  His 
Manifestation."  Each  of  the  world's  great  mani- 
fested spiritual  teachers  has  taught  the  same 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  49 

eternal  truth,  revealing  in  it  the  measure  and  in 
the  terms  applicable  to  the  people  of  His  time. 
This  truth  has  ever  been  the  mainspring  and 
source  of  human  advancement  and  civilization. 

The  Divine  Covenant,  or  promise  to  the  world, 
of  the  coming  in  the  "end  of  the  days"  of  a  great 
Manifestation,  One  who  would  arise  with  spiritual 
power  to  establish  upon  earth  God's  Kingdom  of 
Peace  was  made  through  the  prophets  of  the 
past.  Though  the  personalities  of  the  Prophets 
differed,  yet  the  divine  power  which  spoke 
through  each  was  the  same  in  spirit  and  reality. 
Each  Prophet  revealed  God  and  the  law  of  the 
Divine  Kingdom  in  proportion  to  the  needs  of 
the  age  to  which  He  ministered,  and  in  terms  and 
parables  familiar  to  the  people.  In  their  purity 
all  the  revealed  religious  teachings  are  in  perfect 
accord;  all  teach  the  fatherhood  of  God  and  the 
brotherhood  of  man. 

ONENESS  OF  ALL  RELIGION. 

Again  in  the  words  of  Abdul  Baha  is  found  the 
definition  of  the  one  foundation  of  all  religion,  as 
follows:  "The  foundation  underlying  all  the  di- 
vine precepts  is  that  one  reality.  It  must  needs 
be  reality,  and  reality  is  one,  not  multiple.  There- 
fore the  foundation  of  the  divine  religions  is  one ; 
but  we  can  see  that  certain  forms  have  come  in, 
certain  imitations  of  forms  and  ceremonies  have 


50  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

crept  in.  They  are  heretical,  they  are  accidental, 
because  they  differ ;  hence  they  cause  differences 
among  religions;  but  if  we  set  aside  these  imita- 
tions and  seek  the  reality  of  the  foundation  we 
shall  all  agree ;  religion  is  one  and  not  multiple." 
Human  differences,  imaginations  and  super- 
stitions have  been  the  cause  of  religious  division, 
dissention  and  disintegrationrBuTtrue  spiritual- 
ity has  ever  been  the  source  and  mainspring  of 
man's  unity  in  religion  and  advancement  in  civili- 
zationj  Each  of  the  great  world  civilizations 
has^fiad  its  conception  and  birth  in  a  spiritually 
active  religion,  while  the  downfall  of  civilizations 
has  been  brought  about  by  spiritually  lifeless 
religious  ideals,  shrouded  in  forms  and  in  super- 
stitions, causing  the  fall  of  morals  and  the  decay 
of  civilization. 

THE  BAHAI  GLAD  TIDINGS. 

The  unique  message  which  the  Bahais  are  giv- 
ing to  the  world  is  that  of  the  fulfillment  of  The 
Covenant  made  by  God  with  the  people  of  the 
world  through  the  prophets  of  old.  Again  a 
Manifestation  of  the  Word  has  come  in  accord- 
ance with  promise  of  old,  this  time  in  Baha*o*llah 
who  came  for  the  whole  world,  so  that  all  people 
of  all  religions,  races  and  nations  might  become 
one  in  faith  and  brothers  in  the  divine  kingdom. 
In  order  to  establish  the  kingdom  of  peace  upon 


V 

I? 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  51 

earth,  The  Bab  prepared  the  way  for  Baha'o'Uah. 
Through  Baha'o'Uah  the  power,  spirit  and  wis- 
dom of  the  new  age  of  the  Kingdom  dawned  in 
the  world.  Now,  through  Abdul  Baha,  this  new 
age  of  spiritual  light  is  being  proclaimed  and  es- 
tablished in  the  various  parts  of  the  earth. 

OBJECT  OF  RELIGION. 

Abdul  Baha  says:  "Every  religion  is  the 
greatest  divine  effulgence,  the  cause  of  life 
among  men,  the  cause  of  honor  of  humanity,  and 
is  productive  of  the  life  everlasting  among 
humankind.  Religion  is  not  for  enmity  or  hatred. 
It  is  not  for  tyranny  or  injustice.  If  religion  be 
the  cause  of  enmity  and  rancor,  if  it  should  prove 
to  be  the  cause  of  alieniating  men,  assuredly 
non-religion  would  be  better,  for  religion  and 
the  teachings  which  appertain  to  it  are  as  a 
course  of  treatment.  What  is  the  object  of  any 
course  of  treatment?  It  is  to  cure  and  heal;  but 
if  the  outcome  of  a  course  of  treatment  should 
be  productive  of  mere  diagnosis  and  discussion 
of  symptons  then  the  abolition  of  it  is  evidently 
preferable.  In  this  sense  abandoning  religion 
would  be  a  step  toward  unity." 

PRESENT  WORLD  PROBLEMS. 

The  Bahais  hold  that  each  age  of  the  world  \ 
has  had  its  needs  and  its  problems  to  solve,  and  | 
these  problems  have  been  solved  by  the  divine    I 


52  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

/  manifestations.  Now,  in  this  latter  age,  the 
i  great  problems,  economic,  political  and  religious 
f  are  not  confined,  as  in  the  past,  to  certain  re- 
j  stricted  geographic  areas,  but  are  universal. 
Through  the  advance  of  civilization  all  countries 
and  peoples  of  the  world  have  been  brought  to- 
gether until,  for  the  first  time  in  its  history,  the 
world  now  finds  that  it  has  entered  upon  a  uni- 
versal era  in  its  progress.  This  is  the  universal 
age,  in  which  all  peoples  and  nations  are  to 
merge  and  develop  into  one  great  world  civiliza- 
tion. 

As  the  former  ages  have  had  certain  spiritual 

or  religious  needs,  so  this  present  and  coming 

}  universal  age,  past  the  threshold  of  which  the 

1  world  now  stands,  has  its  own  needs,  spiritual 

1  and  religious.    The  world  is  now  ready  for  the 

spiritual  unity  and  harmony  of  its  people.     The 

universal  religion  now  is  needed  in  order  that 

mie  universal  civilization  may  be  realized. 

ONENESS  OF  HUMANITY. 

In  treating  of  the  oneness  of  humanity  Abdul 
Baha  says:  "Baha'o'llah  addresses  Himself  to 
the  world  of  men,  saying:  *Ye  are  all  leaves  of 
one  tree  and  the  fruits  of  one  arbor,'  that  is,  the 
world  of  existence  is  no  other  than  one  tree,  and 
the  nations  or  peoples  are  like  unto  the  different 
branches  or  limbs  thereof,  and  human  individuals 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  58 

are  similar  to  the  fruits  and  blossoms  thereof — 
while  in  all  past  religious  books  and  epistles  the 
world  of  humanity  has  been  divided  into  two 
parts,  one  called  the  people  of  the  Book,  or  the 
Pure  Tree,  and  the  other,  the  Evil  Tree.  One 
half  of  the  people  of  the  world  were  looked  upon 
as  belonging  to  the  faithful,  and  the  other  half  as 
belonging  to  the  irreligious  and  the  infidel;  one 
half  of  the  people  were  consigned  to  the  mercy 
of  the  Creator,  and  the  other  half  were  con- 
sidered as  objects  of  the  wrath  of  their  Maker]_ 
but  Baha'o'llah  proclaimed  the  oneness  of  the 
world  of  humanity;  He  submerged  all  mankind 
in  the  sea  of  divine  generosity."  ^^^.^ 

THE  PROMISED  MESSIAH. 

The  people  of  each  religion  look  for  the  com- 
ing of  a  prophet  or  teacher  who  will  fulfill  the 
hopes  of  their  own  teaching  and  establish  the 
truth  of  the  world.  The  Christians  look  for  the 
coming  of  the  Christ  (Spirit)  and  the  establish- 
ment of  Christ's  Kingdom;  the  Jews  await  the 
coming  of  their  Messiah,  and  God's  Kingdom  on 
earth;  the  Moslems  believe  that  the  Mahdi  will 
come  and  prepare  the  way  for  the  coming  of  the 
Lord  and  the  Kingdom;  the  Zoroastrians  have 
prophecies  relating  to  the  coming  of  Shah  Bah- 
ram,  and  the  establishment  of  the  divine  order 
of  things,    foretold    in    their    holy    books;    the 


64  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

Hindus  believe  that  the  Divine  Spirit  Krishna 
will  speak  again  to  the  world  for  the  enlighten- 
ment of  the  people;  and  the  Buddhists  look  for 
the  coming  of  the  great  Fifth  Buddha,  whose 
mission  will  be  that  of  bringing  a  general  world- 
wide spiritual  enlightenment,  while  the  Theo- 
sophists  and  some  other  religious  cults,  of 
modern  organization,  look  for  the  coming  of  a 
universal  religious  teacher  or  great  spiritual 
master  who  will  bring  a  divine  message  which 
will  unite  all  mankind  in  one  brotherhood  under 
one  God. 

THE  BAHAI  MESSAGE. 

^  With  the  coming  of  the  Bahai  teachers,  and  the 
cause  which  they  have  established,  the  people 
of  the  various  religions  find  the  fulfillment  of  the 
sacred  teachings  of  the  past,  and  also  the  solu- 
tion of  the  great  latter-day  problem  of  religious 
unity.  The  Bahai  teaching  confirms  and  com- 
pletes all  religious  teachings  which  have  gone 
before,  and  offers  a  practical  philosophy  which 
meets  the  present-day  spiritual  needs  of  human- 
ity. 

In  teaching  of  Baha'o'llah  the  great  Master 
Divine  Revealer  of  truth,  whose  coming  for  ages 
has  been  the  hope  of  the  world,  Abdul  Baha 
says  that  He  was  the  educator  of  the  world  of 
humanity;  His  teachings  were  universal  and  con- 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  55 

f erred  illumination  upon  mankind;  His  knowl^^ 
edge  was  innate  and  spontaneous,  not  acquired;;. 
He  answered  the  questions  of  all  sages,  solved 
the  difficult  problems  of  humanity,  and  withstood  j 
all  the  persecutions  and  sufferings  heaped  uponj 
Him ;  He  was  a  joy  bringer  and  the  herald  of  the : 
Kingdom  of  Happiness;  His  knowledge  was  in-| 
finite  and  his  wisdom  all  comprehensive;  thej 
penetration  of  His  Word  and  the  potency  of  His; 
influence  was  so  great  as  to  humble  even  His! 
worst  enemies;  sorrows  and  tribulations  did  not;j 
vex  Him;  His  courage  and  conviction  was  God- 1 
like;  day  unto  day  He  became  firmer  and  more) 
zealous;  He  was  the  establisher  of  universal  j 
civilization,  the  unifier  of  religions,  the  standard  \ 
of  universal  peace,  and  the  embodiment  of  all 
the  highest  and  noblest  virtues  of  the  world  of  I 
humanity.  ^ J 

BAHAI  SACRED  WRITINGS. 

The  collective  writings  of  The  Bab  are  known 
as  "The  Beyan."  These  treat  of  the  coming  of 
Baha'o'Uah,  and  contain  exhortations  to  the 
people,  calling  them  to  purify  themselves  and 
prepare  to  meet  the  promised  One  that  they 
might  be  fitted  to  serve  Him.  Baha'o'llah  wrote 
many  treatises  in  the  form  of  books  and  epistles, 
in  which  He  demonstrates  the  oneness  of  the 
spirit  of  all  the  former  religious  teachings,  and 


^ 


56  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

also  treats  of  the  present  teaching  in  its  relations 
to  the  religions  of  the  past.  Many  of  these  writ- 
ings were  in  reply  to  special  questions  asked  by 
men  of  learning,  and  were  therefore  written 
from  various  points  of  thought — Moslem,  Jew- 
ish, Christian,  etc.  The  writings  of  Abdul  Baha 
are  explanatory  of  the  teachings  of  Baha'o'llah. 
Abdul  Baha's  method  of  teaching  is  through  his 
life  of  service  to  humanity  as,  well  as  by  his  pen 
and  spoken  word.  In  this  influence  of  his  daily 
life  he  exemplifies  the  principles  of  Baha^o'llah. 

THE  GREAT  RELIGIOUS  AWAKENING. 

The  natural  tendency  of  man  is  to  remain  in 
his  own  particular  groove  of  religious  feeling 
and  thought  until  compelled  to  give  this  up  by 
conditions  and  forces  apparently  outside  of  him- 
self. This  is  often  brought  about  by  disappoint- 
ment and  suffering,  and  through  his  relations 
with  other  people.  As  it  is  with  the  religious 
thought  and  feeling  of  the  individual,  so  it  is 
with  that  of  nations  or  of  peoples.  From  age  to 
age  their  religious  convictions  undergo  certain 
changes  and  modifications  produced  upon  the 
general  or  cosmic  psychology  of  the  mass  by 
the  spiritual  conditions  attending  the  appearance 
in  the  world  of  the  great  divine  revelators  or 
manifestations. 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  57 

Attending  the  rise  or  advent  of  these  divine 
personages  is  a  general  religious  awakening,  a 
quickening  spirit  which,  though  it  works  silently 
in  the  hearts  of  men,  eventually  is  realized  and 
recognized  by  all  as  the  light  of  a  new  spiritual 
era  or  epoch.  The  prophet  or  the  manifestation 
of  the  age  is  the  center  of  this  divine  enlighten- 
ment, and  as  the  souls  of  people  awaken  in  re- 
sponse to  the  spirit  of  the  new  age  they  recog- 
nize the  divine  mission  of  the  one  who  brings  the 
religious  message  of  the  day. 

PRESENT  RELIGIOUS  OUTLOOK. 

The  great  changes  in  human  conditions,  pro- 
duced as  the  world  passes  out  of  an  age  of 
formal  religious  thought  into  one  with  a  new 
spirit  and  progressive  ideals,  cause  the  downfall 
of  old  institutions  which  have  served  their  day 
and  the  establishment  of  new  institutions  calcu- 
lated to  meet  the  present  and  future  needs  of 
humanity.  This  time  of  change  is  always  a  try- 
ing one.  This  passing  from  the  spiritual  adole"^ 
scence  to  the  maturity  of  the  race,  as  it  were,  is 
attended  by  the  disruption  and  collapse  of 
former  ideals  before  the  people  have  really 
sufficiently  gotten  hold  of  the  new  principles  to 
be  firmly  settled  therein.  At  this  present  time 
the  world  is  in  the  throes  of  such  an  epoch. 
These  years  of  war  have  witnessed  great  changes 


58  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

in  the  ideals  of  the  world,  and  in  no  phase  of  life 
is  this  change  more  manifest  than  in  religious 
thought  and  feeling.  Through  bloodshed  and 
calamity  peoples  of  different  classes,  nations, 
races  and  creeds  have  been  thrown  together  into 
an  intimate  contact  upon  so  vast  a  scale  as  to  be 
quite  without  parallel  in  the  pages  of  history. 
The  intense  hardships  and  sufferings  of  these 
multitudes  have  freed  hearts  and  minds  of  many 
time  honored  superstitions  and  traditions  which 
composed  the  outer  shell  or  form  of  religion. 

While  men  are  thus  being  torn  away  from 
former  religious  limitations  through  the  destruc- 
tion of  their  mental  fetiches,  found  to  be  unten- 
able under  the  present  every-day  conditions  of 
life,  a  spirit  within  the  deep  religious  nature  of 
the  masses  has  been  aroused,  a  something  which 
is  causing  them  to  realize  a  condition  of  spiritual 
paucity  upon  their  part  and  of  bewilderment  as 
they  vainly  attempt  to  adjust  their  religious 
ideas  to  this  new  world  psychology  into  which 

I  they  have  been  hurled.    It  is,  therefore,  not  sur- 

'■i         ^ 

prismg  that  people  in  general  should  be  realizing 
and  acknowledging  that  they  are  facing  a  new 
day  of  religious  reality. 

INFLUENCE  OF  RELIGION. 

The  influence  of  religion  as  a  reconstructive 
force  as  well  as  a  destructive  force  is  very  clearly 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  59 

seen  in  history.  Certain  fundamentally  true  re- 
ligious doctrines  and  fraternal  sentiments  have 
united  peoples  and  have  been  the  foundation 
movements  of  progressive  civilization,  while 
upon  the  other  hand  superstitious  religious 
teachings  and  prejudices  taught  by  religious 
leaders  and  preachers  have  had  much  to  do  with 
the  bringing  about  of  wars.  Search  the  pages 
of  history.  The  student  will  find  but  few  wars 
which  were  brought  about  quite  independently 
of  the  clergy,  who  exert  such  an  influence  upon_ 
humanity  and  direct  to  so  great  an  extent  the 
destinies  of  men.  In  the  war  just  past  the  re- 
ligious leaders  in  the  various  countries  have  ex- 
erted so  great  an  influence  for  the  stimulation  of 
war  valor  that  the  power  which  they  exercised 
has  been  recognized  by  the  governments  and  has 
been  to  a  great  extent  used  to  rally  the  people 
and  to  stir  their  patriotism. 

RELIGION  AND  THE  PRESENT 
PROBLEM. 

As  religion  has  played  so  important  a  part  and 
exerted  such  a  strong  influence  in  the  formation 
of  the  policies  and  ideals  of  nations  it  is  timely 
that  the  world  should  now  begin  to  consider 
what  religion  may  have  to  offer  toward  the  peace 
of  the  world  and  the  attending  great  interna- 
tional problems  which  now  confront  the  nations 


60  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

— what  constructive  influence  it  can  exert  in  es- 
tablishing more  cordial  relations  and  a  better 
understanding  and  sympathy  between!  peoples 
of  the  different  civilizations  and  races  from  which 
the  new  great  universal  world  civilization  is  to 
arise,  by  extending  its  protecting  justice  and 
peace  to  all  the  peoples  and  countries  of  the 
world  both  large  and  small. 

PROBLEM  OF  PEACE  OR  WAR. 

The  universal  problem  now  in  the  minds  of 
people  is  this:  Is  humanity  to  continue  indefi- 
nitely this  struggle  between  nations,  with  its 
seasons  of  war  separated  by  longer  or  shorter 
periods  of  so-called  peace,  during  which  the 
nations  are  recuperating  and  renewing  their 
engines  of  destruction  in  order  to  again  enter 
into  open  conflict,  destroying  that  which  has 
taken  years  of  labor  to  construct;  or  has  the 
time  not  come  for  a  change  from  this  archaic 
system  of  destruction  to  one  of  justice,  co-opera- 
tion and  construction  between  the  nations,  a  sys- 
tem conducive  to  peace? 

Upon  this  question  the  world  is  now  divided. 
On  the  one  hand  are  the  extreme  militarists,  who 
hold  that  the  peace  and  prosperity  of  the  nations 
can  only  be  maintained  by  developing  and  main- 
taining the  military  strength  of  the  individual 
nation,  that  the  world  progresses  through  mili- 


/ 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  61 

tary  valor,  that  peace  is  devitalizing  to  a  nation, 
and  that  without  war  a  nation  becomes  effemi- 
nate and  decadent.  Then,  upon  the  other  hand, 
there  are  those  who  hold  a  view  quite  opposite 
to  that  of  the  militarists ;  namely,  that  peace  and 
co-operation — not  military  conflict  and  destruc- 
tion— are  the  conditions  under  which  the  high- 
est virtues  of  man  are  bom  and  develop. 

INTERDEPENDENCE  OF  NATIONS. 

World  conditions  in  this  twentieth  century  are 
not  what  they  were  in  past  epochs.  In  the  pres- 
ent time  through  travel,  communication,  and 
commerce  the  interdependence  of  peoples  and 
nations  has  become  a  recognized  factor  hereto- 
fore comparatively  non-existent,  which  now  has 
to  be  met  by  the  world.  In  primitive  times  in 
sparsely  populated  countries,  where  families 
were  separated  by  distances,  individual  feuds, 
quarrels,  and  warfare  were  the  rule.  But  as  the 
lands  filled  up,  cities  were  formed  and  people 
lived  in  closer  contact  one  with  another,  condi- 
tions changed  and  became  so  modified  that  co-op- 
eration between  individuals  became  necessary 
and  conducive  to  the  best  good  of  all.  When  the 
majority  of  the  people  in  a  land  wanted  law  and 
order,  they  established  it;  and  with  an  adequate 
police  force  order  was  forced  upon  the  disorderly 
members  of  society,  and  in  this    way   life    was 


68  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

made  safe  for  the  mass  of  the  people.  In  other 
words,  from  the  material  viewpoint,  conditions 
had  changed.  It  no  longer  being  possible  for 
one  man  to  enrich  himself  at  the  expense  of  his 
neighbor  through  pillage  and  theft,  men  then 
began  to  co-operate,  and  in  this  new  state  of 
interdependence  each  found  his  horizon  of  life 
enlarged  and  his  scope  for  developnient  in- 
creased. 

From  this  same  material  standpoint  a  parallel 
may  here  be  drawn  between  the  development  of 
peace  between  families  or  tribes  and  peace  be- 
tween nations.      In  past    epochs    nations    and 
peoples  were  separated  by  geographic  bound- 
aries, not  easily  surmountable.     In  those  days 
it  was  possible  for  the  people  of  one  country  to 
invade  the  territory  of  another  nation  and  enrich 
themselves  by  carr5dng  off  booty  and  plunder 
(often  in  the  form  of  bullion  and  slaves)  and  thus 
from   material   considerations   prosper   through 
war.     But  now  in  this  day  those  ancient  condi- 
/^tions  no  longer  exist.     Now  nations  are  so  de- 
(     pendent  upon  one  another  for  finances,   food- 
\    stuffs,  and  supplies  of  all  kinds,  as  well  as  for  the 
\    output  of  their  own  products,  that  their  welfare 
1  and  prosperity  no  longer  depend  upon  war  but 
\  upon  peace,  no  longer  upon  conquest,  but  upon 
\co-operation  with  neighboring  nations. 

In  this  present  time  nations    lose    far    more 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  63 

through  war  than  they  can  possibly  gain.  A 
nation  now  at  war  after  gaining  an  overwhehn- 
ing  victory  over  an  adversary,  finds  it  quite  im- 
possible to  exact  sufficient  tribute  to  recompense 
it  for  the  material  outlay,  the  loss  of  life,  and  the 
many  terrible  after-effects  of  war  which  it  suf- 
fers. Thus  war  has  become  a  losing  proposition, 
one  doomed  to  loss  even  before  entered  upon. 

This  interdependence  of  nations  and  peoples 
is  a  new  phase  of  world  progress,  which  now 
needs  to  be  reckoned  with  in  dealing  with  inter- 
national and  military  matters. 

MILITARISM  CONDUCIVE  TO  WAR. 

The  development  of  national  military  power 
and  preparedness  for  war,  so  fervently  advocated  ' 
by  many  as  a  national  protection  and  a  means 
for  peace,  instead  of  making  for  peace  has  quite 
the  opposite  effect,  for  it  makes  for  war.  A 
standing  army  and  a  large  and  increasing  navy 
is  not  only  a  great  economic  drain  upon  a  people, 
but  such  a  system  in  itself  keeps  alive  the  spirit 
of  war.  It  tends  to  make  a  people  proud  and 
overbearing,  and  further  the  spirit  of  fear  and 
hatred  between  peoples,  races  and  nations,  thus 
psychologically  laying  the  foundation  for  strife 
through  the  mental  and  moral  destructive  in- 
fluences. The  system  of  militarism  keeps  the  spirit 
of  war  alive,  keeps  the  people  in  training  for  war. 


64  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

and  places  in  their  hands  and  ready  for  use  at 
all  times  the  engines  and  instruments  of  war, 
thus  making  war  possible  at  short  notice  and 
with  little  provocation.  It  is  a  recognized  fact 
that  with  a  large  and  a  growing  armament  and  a 
standing  army  in  training  for  wai'  the  time  comes 
when  the  leaders  of  the  people  want  to  fight; 
and  when  such  a  group  of  people  want  war,  like 
individuals  under  the  power  of  the  same  warlike 
thought,  sooner  or  later  a  pretext  will  be  found 
f~^nd  they  will  bring  on  a  fight.  Thus  the  means 
of  war  become  a  cause  of  war,  because  these 
means  exert  both  a  conscious  and  an  unconscious 
influence  for  war,  increasing  hatred  between 
nations  and  races,  all  of  which  must  be  consid- 
ered as  fundamental  elements  in  the  general  psy- 
chology of  war,  which  psychology  is  the  real 
underlying  cause  of  wars  of  aggression. 

BAHAI  PEACE  TEACHING. 

The  Bahai  Religion  teaches  that  in  order  to 
abolish  the  causes  of  war  a  blow  must  be  struck 
at  all  hatred  and  enmity  between  classes,  races, 

t nations  and  religions,  and  at  the  greed  and  ava- 
rice inherent  in  savage  man.  In  the  words  of 
Abdul  Baha  we  find  that  "it  is  established  that 
all  the  prophets  of  God  have  come  to  unite  the 
children  of  men  and  not  to  disperse  them,  and  to 
put  in  action  the  law  of  love  and  not  enmity. 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  65 

Consequently,  we  must  throw  aside  all  these 
prejudices,  the  racial  prejudice,  the  patriotic  pre- 
judice, the  religious  and  political  prejudices.  We 
must  become  the  cause  of  unity  of  the  human 
race." 

These  disturbing  causes,  i.  e.,  prejudices,  are 
at  root  in  the  soul  of  man.  As  the  actions  of 
peoples  as  well  as  of  individuals  are  but  the  re- 
flection of  their  thought  and  ideals,  action — na- 
tional as  well  as  individual — can  be  traced  back  to 
the  general  and  personal  thought  of  the  people. 
The  power  of  imagination  is  a  far  greater  ele- 
ment in  life  than  material  considerations,  for  the 
actions  of  people  are  ruled  by  the  power  of  their 
sentiments,  thoughts,  affections,  prejudices  and 
material  desires.  The  cause  of  this  recent  world  ' 
war  was  greed,  national  prejudice,  pride,  hatred 
and  fear,  all  of  which  causes  have  their  root  in 
the  soul  of  man  and  arise  through  a  lack  of  spirit- 
ual assurance,  poise  and  development.  Peace 
can  only  be  permanently  established  by  freeing 
the  world  from  this  obsession  of  war  thought,  by 
freeing  the  people  from  greed,  fear,  desire  of 
aggression,  and  from  racial,  national  and  re- 
ligious prejudice,  all  of  which  make  up  the  cause  \ 
of  war.  Because  of  this  recent  war  the  thinking  \ 
public  is  now  alive  to  the  need  of  this  day,  and  T 
realizes  that  the  question  of  maintaining  a  last- 
ing peace  is  by  far  the  most  important  issue  at  I 


66  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

present  before  the  world.  The  real  inner  peace 
cannot  be  objectively  forced  upon  a  people  or 
peoples.  It  cannot  come  from  without.  It  must 
be  bom  in  a  people,  spiritually  and  psychologi- 
cally, before  it  begins  to  be  manifest  in  their  civic 
and  national  life.  And  now  the  question  is: 
How  is  this  inner  change  to  be  accomplished? 
How  are  prejudice,  hate,  and  materialism  to  be 
overcome?  The  Bahais  meet  this  question  with 
a  positive  teaching  in  word  and  deed  of  the  divine 
love  principle  of  true  religion.  The  Bahai  Move- 
ment, heralding  the  universal  religious  cause  of 
this  new  age,  stands  for  the  oneness  in  spirit  and 
in  deed  of  all  peoples  of  all  religions,  races  and 
nations.  It  therefore  deals  directly  or  indirectly 
jwith  the  many  attending  human  problems. 
Abdul  Baha  teaches  that  now  is  the  time  "that 
all  men  and  nations  shall  make  peace ;  that  there 
shall  be  universal  peace  among  governments, 
universal  peace  among  religions,  universal  peace 
among  races,  universal  peace  among  the  deni- 
zens of  all  regions.  Today  in  the  world  of  hu- 
manity the  most  important  matter  is  the  ques- 
tion of  universal  peace.  The  realization  of  this 
principle  is  the  crying  need  of  the  time." 

RELIGION  AND  DEEDS. 

This  teaching  holds  aloft  a  high  spiritual  ideal 
which  must  be    realized  in    deeds   and    actions. 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION 


67 


"These  are  the  days  of  faith  and  deeds,  not  the 
days  of  words  and  lip  service."  "The  effect  of 
deeds  is  in  truth  more  powerful  than  that  of 
words."  "Deeds  reveal  the  station  of  the  man." 
Such  are  the  maxims  of  the  Bahais.  Therefore, 
in  advancing  the  ideal  of  peace  upon  earth  it  is 
not  merely  advanced  as  an  ethereal  dream  not 
to  be  realized  in  this  world,  bu1("along  with  this" 
ideal  are  presented  certain  international  reforms 
and  institutions  for  which  the  Bahais  stand,  and 
through  the  application  of  which  they  believe 
that  war  and  strife  will  cease  and  a  constructive 
system  of  co-operation  will  take  the  place  of  the 
present  and  past  strife  and  hatred  between  na- 
tions. 

The  Bahai  Cause  teaches  that  brotherly  love 
is  the  means  through  which  the  true  civilization 
of  humanity  will  be  realized.  Prejudice  and 
hatred  between  peoples  of  different  classes,  na- 
tions, races  or  religions,  are  destructive  factors 
in  the  world,  and  are  the  cause  of  the  retrogres- 
sion of  the  race.  Therefore,  the  followers  of  the 
Bahai  Movement,  in  order  firmly  to  lay  a  foun- 
dation for  human  solidarity,  are  doing  their  ut- 
most tofiestroy  these  various  forms  of  animosity 
and  prejudice  by  striving  to  implant  in  the  hearts 
of  people  the  principles  of  the  love  of  God.  _, 


68  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

THE  RACIAL  QUESTION. 

COne  of  the  most  serious  questions  of  the  day 
that  of  the  existing  racial  prejudice  and  hatred. 
This  distrust  causes  the  oppression  of  one  race 
by  another  race,  producing  ill  feeling  and  strife 
and  creating  acts  which  sometimes  come  to  open 

r  warfare.  Those  souls  who  have  been  touched 
by  the  spirit  of  the  Bahai  Cause  have  bom  in 
their  hearts  a  deep  love  for  the  people  of  other 
races  which  precludes  their  ever  harboring  any 
traces  of  racial  antagonism,  and  is  the  basis  of 
justice  and  equity  in  their  relations  with  all  man- 

l  kind.  When  traveling  around  the  world,  visit- 
ing the  Bahai  people  in  various  countries. 
Oriental  and  Occidental,  one  is  much  impressed 
by  the  affinity  and  mutual  trust  and  understand- 
ing created  between  the  peoples  of  different 
races  and  colors  by  this  religion  of  practical 
brotherhood,  and  in  the  living  principles  of  this 
cause  one  finds  the  solution  and  means  of  adjust- 
ment of  this  great  and  threatening  menace  to 
humanity — race  hatred. 

Even  in  reading  this  brief  sketch  of  some  of 
the  various  constructive  Bahai  principles  herein 
outlined  it  will  be  seen  that  each  of  these  factors 
is  a  necessary  element  and  a  part  of  the  real 
peace  and  prosperity  of  the  world,  so  that  the 
doctrine  of  universal  peace  very  properly  belongs 


I 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  69 

in  the  Bahai  philosophy  and  is  one  of  its  most 
important  principles.  In  voicing  His  cause 
Baha'o'Uah  said:  "We  desire  but  the  good  of 
the  world  and  the  happiness  of  the  nations;  yet 
they  deem  us  a  stirrer-up  of  strife  and  sedition 
worthy  of  bondage  and  banishment — ^that  all 
nations  should  become  one  in  faith  and  all  men 
as  brothers ;  that  the  bonds  of  affection  and  unity 
between  the  sons  of  men  should  be  strengthened ; 
that  diversity  of  religion  should  cease,  and  differ- 
ences of  race  be  annulled.  What  harm  is  there 
in  this?  Yet  so  it  shall  be;  these  fruitless  strifes, 
these  ruinous  wars  shall  pass  away,  and  the 
Most  Great  Peace  shall  come.  Is  not  this  that 
which  Christ  foretold?  Yet  do  we  see  yourn 
kings  and  rulers  lavishing  their  treasures  more  / 
freely  on  means  for  the  destruction  of  the  human 
race  than  on  that  which  would  conduce  to  the 
happiness  of  mankind.  These  strifes  and  this 
bloodshed  and  discord  must  cease,  and  all  men 
be  as  one  kindred  and  one  family.  Let  not  a 
man  glory  in  this ;  that  he  loves  his  country ;  let 
him  rather  glory  in  this ;  that  he  loves  his  kind." 
Moreover,  during  Baha'o'Uah's  imprisonment, 
in  a  series  of  epistles  to  the  kings  and  rulers  of 
the  world.  He  proclaimed  a  new  day  and  age  of 
peace  to  follow  these  wars  and  times  of  trouble. 
In  these  days  the  world  is  seeing  his  predictions 
fulfilled. 


70  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

THE  PARLIAMENT  OF  NATIONS. 

In  the  writings  of  Baha'o'Uah  and  of  Abdul 
Baha  are  numerous  treatises  regarding  peace 
and  unity,  all  of  which  taken  togther  form  the 
teaching  and  the  attitude  of  the  movement 
toward  this  subject,  nor  is  the  teaching  indirect 
and  vague  in  the  methods  it  advances  for  the 
^Establishment  of  harmony  between  nations.  The 
I  nations  should  come  together  and  establish  an 
I  international  court  of  arbitration,  supporting  and 
V  enforcing  its  international  decisions.  Besides 
'  military  forces  in  each  country  sufficient  to  main- 
tain national  order,  an  international  police  should 
be  instituted  in  order  to  enforce  the  just  decrees 
of  the  international  court  of  arbitration,  so  that  if 
one  nation  should  threaten  the  peace  and  tran- 
quillity of  the  world  it  could  be  forced  into  line 
with  the  others  without  the  horrors  of  a  pro- 
longed war.  Such  measures,  together  with  the 
strict  neutrality  of  those  nations  not  implicated 
in  the  international  dispute,  and  their  refusal  to 
send  either  munitions  of  war  or  lend  financial  aid 
to  belligerent  nations,  would  very  shortly  do 
away  with  the  possibility  of  war  from  a  material 
standpoint.  The  constructive  teaching  of  peace 
principles  and  true  religion  is  slowly  but  surely 
eradicating  the  war  thought  from  the  minds  of 
men. 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  71 

Speaking  of  this  international  tribunal  for  the 
judicial  settlement  of  international  troubles  and 
disputes  Abdul  Baha  said:  "A  tribunal  which 
will  be  under  the  power  of  God,  and  under  the 
protection  of  all  men.  Each  one  must  obey  the 
decisions  of  this  tribunal,  in  order  to  arrange  the 
difficulties  of  every  nation.  About  fifty  years 
ago  in  the  Book  of  Akdas  Baha'o'Uah  com- 
manded the  people  to  establish  the  universal 
peace  and  summoned  all  the  nations  to  the  divine 
banquet  of  international  arbitration,  so  that  the 
questions  of  boundaries,  of  national  honor  and 
property,  and  of  vital  interests  between  nations 
might  be  decided  by  an  arbitral  court  of  justice. 
Remember,  these  precepts  were  given  more  than 
half  a  century  ago  (at  that  moment  no  one  spoke 
of  universal  peace  nor  of  any  of  these  principles) 
Baha'o*llah  proclaimed  them  to  all  the  sover- 
eigns of  the  world.  They  are  the  spirit  of  this 
age ;  the  light  of  this  age ;  they  are  the  well-being 
of  this  age." 

PEACE  PROTECTION. 

While  the  Bahai  Religion  teaches  peace  prin- 
ciples, it  also  teaches  that  vicious  maraudersH 
must  be  restrained  by  force,  and  the  weaker  and  I 
innocent  must  be  protected;  nevertheless,  the  I 
power  which  will  bring  about  a  real  and  a  lasting  j 
peace  must  be  a  spiritual  power  which  will  strike  j 


72  .     THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

I  at  and  overcome  the  root  or  the  primal  cause  of 
war. 

About  forty  years  ago  a  book  was  written  by 
one  who  was  under  the  training  of  Baha'o'llah, 
one  who  then  was  prominent  in  the  Bahai  Cause 
as  a  teacher  and  a  philosopher.    In  this  book  is 
found  developed  some  of  the  Bahai  teachings 
upon  world  law  and  order.    This  Work  was  pub- 
/"Hished  under  the  title  of  "The  Mysterious  Forces 
\     of  Civilization,"  and  is  an   exposition   of   Bahai 
jThought  and  ideals  relative  to  both  national  and 
V^jitemational  affairs.     Although  at  the  time  it 
was  written  the  attention  of  the  world  in  general 
had  not  been  called  to  arbitration  and  universal 
peace,  nevertheless,  even  more  than  twenty  years 
prior  to  that   date   Baha'o'Uah   was   la3dng   the 
foundation  of  His  religion  for  world  conciliation. 
The  following  excerpt  from  the  book  in  question 
mentions  arbitration  backed  up  by  a  limited  mili- 
tary force  as  an  institution  through  which  war 
may  be  eliminated : 

"Yea,  the  true  civilization  will  raise  its  ban- 
ner in  the  center  of  the  world,  when  some  noble 
kings  of  high  ambitions,  the  bright  suns  of  the 
world  of  humanitarian  enthusiasm  shall,  for  the 
good  and  happiness  of  all  the  human  race,  step 
forth  with  firm  resolution  and  keen  strength  of 
mind  and  hold  a  conference  on  the  question  of 
universal  peace;  when,  keeping  fast  hold  of  the 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  V3 

means  of  enforcing  their  views  they  shall  estab- 
lish a  union  of  the  states  of  the  world,  and  con- 
clude a  definite  treaty  and  strict  alliance  between 
them  upon  conditions  not  to  be  evaded.    WheriA 
the  whole  human  race  shall  have  been  consulted    \ 
through  their  representatives  and  invited  to  cor-      ] 
roborate  this  treaty,  which  verily  would  be  a      / 
treaty  of  universal  peace  and  would  be  accounted     / 
sacred  by  all  the  peoples  of  the  earth,  it  would    I 
be  the  duty  of  the  united  powers  of  the  world 
to  see  that  this  great  treaty  should  be  strength-    I 
ened  and  should  endure.  / 

"In  such  a  universal  treaty  the  limits  of  the  / 
borders  and  boundaries  of  every  state  should  be  / 
fixed,  as  well  as  the  customs  and  laws  of  every/ 
government.    All  the  agreements  and  the  affairs^ 
of  state,  and  the  arrangements  between  the  vari-^ 
ous  governments,  should  be  propounded  and  set- 
tled in  due  form.     The  size  of  the  armaments 
for  each  government  should  likewise  be  definitely 
agreed  upon ;  because,  if  in  the  case  of  any  state 
there  were  to  be  an  increase  in  the  preparation 
for  war,  it  would  be  a  cause  of  alarm  to  the  other 
states.     At  any  rate,  the  basis  of  this  powerful 
alliance  should  be  so  fixed  that,  if  one  of  the 
states  afterwards  broke  any  of  the  articles  of  it 
the  rest  of  the  nations  of  the  world  would  rise 
up  and  destroy  it.     Yea,  the  whole  human  race 


I 
74  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

L would  band  its  forces  together  to  exterminate 
it. 

"If  so  great  a  remedy  should  be  applied  to  the 
sick  body  of  the  world,  it  would  certainly  be  the 
means  of  continually  and  permanently  healing 
its  illness  by  the  inculcation  of  universal  modera- 
tion. Reflect  that,  under  such  conditions  of  life, 
(no  government  or  kingdom  would  need  to  pre- 
pare and  accumulate  war  materials,  or  would 
need  to  pay  heed  to  the  invention  of  new  weap- 
ons of  offense  for  the  vexation  and  hurt  of  man- 
kind. On  the  contrary,  they  would  require  a  few 
soldiers  as  a  means  of  assuring  the  safety  of  the 
state  and  punishing  the  wicked  and  rebellious 
and  preventing  the  growth  of  civil  sedition.  Not 
more  than  these  few  would  be  needed.  In  the 
first  place,  therefore,  the  servants  of  God,  that 
is  to  say,  all  the  inhabitants  of  a  state,  would  be 
freed  from  bearing  the  burden  of  the  tremen- 
dous expense  of  an  army.  In  the  second  place, 
the  many  persons  who  now  devote  their  lives  to 
the  invention  of  instruments  of  war  would  no 
longer  waste  their  time  upon  such  work,  which 
but  encourages  ferocity  and  blood-thirstiness, 
and  is  repugnant  to  the  universal  ideal  of  hu- 
manity. On  the  contrary,  they  would  then  em- 
ploy their  natural  gifts  in  the  cause  of  the  general 
well-being,  and  would  contribute  towards  the 
peace  and  salvation  of  mankind.     All  the  rulers 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  75 

of  the  world  would  then  be  settled  on  peaceful 
thrones  amid  the  glory  of  a  perfect  civilization, 
and  all  the  nations  and  peoples  would  rest  in  the 
cradle  of  peace  and  comfort.  ^_^ 

"Some  persons  who  are  ignorant  of  the  world 
of  true  humanity  and  its  high  ambitions  for  the 
general  good  reckon  such  a  glorious  condition  of 
life  to  be  very  difficult ;  nay,  rather  impossible  to 
compass,  but  it  is  not  so.  Far  from  it,  for,  by 
the  grace  of  God,  and  by  the  testimony  of  the 
Beloved  (those  near  to  the  threshold  of  the 
Creator),  and  by  the  incomparably  high  ambi- 
tions of  the  souls  that  are  perfect,  and  the 
thoughts  and  opinions  of  the  wisest  men  of  the 
age,  there  never  has  been  and  is  not^  now  any- 
thing improbable  and  impossible  in  existence. 
What  are  required  are  the  most  resolved  deter- 
mination and  the  most  ardent  enthusiasm.  How  1 
many  things,  which  in  ancient  times  were  re-  / 
garded  as  impossibilities,  of  such  a  kind  that  the  , 
intellect  could  hardly  conceive  them,  we  now| 
perceive  to  have  become  quite  simple  and  easy. 
Why  then  should  this  great  and  important  mat- 
ter of  universal  peace,  which  is  verily  the  sun 
among  the  lights  of  civilization,  the  cause  of 
honor,  freedom  and  salvation  to  all,  be  consid- 
ered as  something  improbable  of  realization. 

"It  is  evident  that  the  honor  and  greatness  of 
man  have  not  arisen  through  blood-thirstiness. 


76  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

the  destruction  of  cities  and  kingdoms,  and  the 
ruining  and  murdering  of  armies  and  peoples. 

[On  the  contrary,  the  cause  of  high-mindedness 
and  prosperity  is  based  upon  the  cherishing  of 
justice  and  the  S5mipathy  with  one's  fellow  citi- 
zens, from  the  highest  to  the  lowest,  upon  build- 
ing up  the  kingdom,  the  cities  and  villages,  the 
suburbs  and  the  country,  and  upon  the  freedom 
and  quiet  of  the  servants  of  God  in  laying  down 
the  foundation  of  the  principles  of  progress,  and 
in  the  extension  of  the  common  weal,  and  the 
Mncrease  of  wealth  and  general  prosperity. 
Reflect  how  many  world-subduing  kings  have  sat 
on  thrones  as  conquerors.  For  example,  Hala- 
koo  Khan,  Ameer  Timur,  who  subjugated  the 
great  continent  of  Asia;  Alexander  the  Macedon- 
ian, and  Napoleon  the  First,  who  stretched  the 
hand  of  tyranny  over  three  of  the  five  continents 
of  the  world.  What  advantages  have  resulted 
from  these  vast  conquests?  Was  any  kingdom 
established,  or  was  there  any  gain  of  happiness? 
Was  any  djmasty  permanently  settled  thereby, 
or  did  it  mean  merely  the  ending  of  the  reign  of 
/"one  particular  dynasty?  The  only  result  pro- 
duced by  the  world-conquering  operations  of 
Halakoo  and  Jenghiz,  provoking  war  on  all  sides, 
was  that  the  continent  of  Asia  became  like  a 
heap  of  ashes  beneath  the  blaze  of  terrible  con- 
flagration.   The  only  outcome  of  the  great  con- 


L' 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  77 

quest  of  Alexander  the  Macedonian,  was  the  fall 
of  his  sun  from  his  throne  as  a  ruler,  and  the 
passing  of  his  dominions  into  the  hands  of  Cas- 
sander,    Seleucus,    Ptolemy    and    Lysimachus. 
Napoleon  the  First  found  no  benefit  in  his  vic^ 
tories  over  the  kings  of  Europe,  but  he  ruined 
well  constituted   kingdoms  and  well   cultivated 
countries.    He  destroyed  hundreds  of  thousands 
of  men,  terrorized   and   intimidated   the   whole  / 
continent  of  Europe,  and  ended  his  own  life  in  a  I 
wretched  captivity.     Such  were  the  results  left/ 
behind  them  by  these  kings  and  their  huge  con-l 
quests."  — ' 

CO-OPERATION. 

The  Bahais  hold  that  co-operation  is  the  basic 
principle  upon  which  all  institutions  should  be 
founded,  the  co-operation  of  all  for  the  good  of 
all.  Laws  should  be  so  regulated  that  it  will  be  "| 
impossible  for  one  man  to  enrich  himself  at  the 
expense  or  oppression  of  another.  Through  the 
proper  adjustment  of  political  and  commercial 
relations  between  individuals  and  nations  all  will 
live  in  harmony,  happiness  and  in  plenty. 


ECONOMIC  QUESTIONS. 

Regarding  the  economic  question,  Abdul  Baha 
says:  "No  religious  books  of  the  past  prophets 
speak  of  the  economic  question,  while  the  eco- 


78  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

nomic  problem  has  been  thoroughly  solved  in 
/^the  teachings  of  Baha*ollah.  Certain  regula- 
tions are  revealed  which  insure  the  welfare  and 
well  being  of  all  humanity.  Just  as  the  rich  man 
enjoys  his  rest  and  his  pleasures  surrounded  by 
luxuries,  so  the  poor  man  must  likewise  have  a 
home,  be  provided  with  sustenance,  and  not  be  in 
want.  Until  this  is  effected  happiness  is  impos- 
^le.  All  are  equal  in  the  estimation  of  God; 
their  rights  are  one  and  there  is  no  distinction 
for  any  soul ;  all  are  protected  beneath  the  justice 
of  God." 


^  wa: 


UNIVERSAL  LANGUAGE. 

Linguistic    differences    between   peoples    and 
nations  have  not  been  conducive  to  understand- 
ing and  mutual  appreciation.     In  order  to  in- 
crease the  means  of  the  inter-communication  of 
thought  and  humanitarian  ideals  between  peo- 
ples  of  different   languages,   the   Bahais   teach 
r**that   a   universal   language    shall   be    adopted 
/    which    shall    be    taught    by    all    the    schools 
and  academies  of  the  world.     A  committee  ap- 
I    pointed  by  national  bodies  shall  select  a  suitable 
\   language  to  be  used  as  a  means  of  international 
I  communication,    and    that    language    shall    be 
\  taught  in  all  the  schools  of  the  world  in  order 
\  that  every  one  shall  need  but  two  languages,  his 
national  tongue  and  the  universal  language.    All 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  79 

will  acquire  the  international  language."  The 
Bahais  believe  that  the  adpotion  of  a  universal 
language  would  be  one  of  the  various  means  for 
the  furthering  of  the  universal  Bahai  ideals, 
creating  a  better  understanding  between  all 
peoples.  . 

THE   MASHRAK-EL-AZKAR. 

In  the  Bahai  Cause  there  is  no  priesthood  nor 
clergy.  Each  soul  approaches  God  in  prayer 
without  sacred  rite  or  ceremony.  Temples  open 
to  all  people  of  all  religions  are  to  be  provided 
for  reading,  meditation  and  prayer.  These  are 
to  be  surrounded  by  hospices,  hospitals,  asylums, 
schools,  universities,  etc.,  the  whole  group  of 
buildings  to  be  known  as  a  "Mashrak-el-Azkar," 
which  literaly  means  "The  dawning  point  of  the 
mentionings  of  God."  In  these  institutions  is 
symbolized  both  the  spiritual  worship  and  the 
humanitarian  service  as  taught  by  Baha'o'Uah. 
Not  long  since  in  the  city  of  Eshkhabad,  in 
Russian  Turkistan,  a  Mashrak-el-Azkar  was 
built.  At  present  the  Bahais  throughout  the 
world  are  uniting  in  the  work  of  building  the 
first  Mashrak-el-Azkar  in  America,  which  is  to 
be  erected  near  the  city  of  Chicago,  upon  the 
shore  of  Lake  Michigan,  where  a  considerable 
site  has  been  acquired.  It  is  anticipated  that 
the  work  of  building  will  soon  begin. 


[■: 


80  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

THE  METHOD  OF  TEACHING. 

The  Bahai  teaching  is  given  without  money 
and  without  price.  Teachers  are  self-support- 
ing, giving  their  time  and  services,  save  in  rare 
instances  where  people  of  means  have  been 
known  to  furnish  living  and  traveling  expenses 
for  certain  teachers  while  they  were  on  missions 
of  teaching.  The  recompense  for  teaching  is  the 
joy  and  satisfaction  of  serving  in  the  cause  of 
truth.  The  teaching  consists  of  first  living  the 
principles  of  the  cause  in  one's  inner  life  and  then 
speaking  of  them  to  others.  All  believers  are 
\  teachers,  each  in  his  or  her  own  sphere.  The 
^ahais  in  no  way  form  a  close  sect  or  cult.  They 
do  not  separate  themselves  from  other  people. 
Their  work  is  outward  and  in  the  world  where 
they  are  seeking  to  diffuse  spiritual  knowledge 
and  serve  humanity. 

INSTRUCTIONS. 

In  the  teachings  of  Baha*o'llah  He  ordered 
certain  changes  in  the  manners  and  customs  of 
people,  through  the  observance  of  which  the 
world  in  general  will  be  helped  both  materially 
and  spiritually.  He  advises  the  Bahais  to  be 
tolerant,  and  in  no  way  to  separate  themselves 
from  other  people,  nor  denounce  those  of  other 
beliefs.  All  men  are  free  to  believe  as  they  wish, 
all  are  exhorted  to  unite  in  faith  and  lay  aside 
\    the  prejudices  and  superstitions  of  past  ages.  Leg- 


r 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  81 

islation  should  be  representative.     The  BahaisK 
should   be   peaceful   and   law  abiding    citizensi 
Their  thought  should  be  humanitarian  above  alj 
else.     Faith   without   works  is   not   acceptableJ] 
One's  worship  should  be  supplemented  by  a  pure? 
and  useful    life  in    the     world.     People    should 
marry.     Asceticism  is  discouraged.     Monogamy 
is  taught.    Harshness  and  hatred  are  to  be  over- 
come by  gentleness  and  love.     Man  should  not 
use    intoxicants    as  a    beverage.    Opium    and 
kindred  drug  habits  are  denounced,  as  is  also 
gambling.        Baha'o'Uah      forbade      mendicity, 
slavery,    cruelty  to    animals,    and    many    other 
abuses     which     our    western     civilization    has 
already    remedied,    so    it    is    hardly    necessary 
to  mention  them  here.    The  following  of  these  j 
ordnances  is  already  producing  its  good  effect 
in  the  many  Bahai  centers  throughout  the  world 
and    good   fruits   are   coming   therefrom.     The 
business  affairs  of  the  Bahai  Movement  are  con- 
ducted by  assemblies  of  consultation.  Eventually 
there  will  be  a  general  assembly  of  consultation 
composed  of  representatives  for  all  parts  of  the 
world.     This  will  be  known  as  "The  Universal 
House  of  Justice." 

RISE  AND  FALL  OF  NATIONS. 

True  religion,  morality,  and  the  accompany- 
ing high  ideals  have  always  gone  hand  in  hand 


/ 


82  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

with  human  uplift  and  progress;  and  conversely, 
in  times  when  irreligion  and  immorality  have  pre- 
vailed, with  the  inevitable  lowering  of  all  ideals, 
nations  have  retrograded  and  civilization  has 
fallen  and  decayed,  and  the  people  have  been  in 
manifest  loss.  This  principle  can  be  seen  work- 
ing in  the  world  of  today  in  the  rise  and  fall  of 
governments,  nations  and  peoples.  The  follow- 
ing words  quoted  from  a  recent  interview  with 
Abdul  Baha  express  his  teaching  upon  this  sub- 
ject: 

"This  war  has  lasted  very  long,  but  it  had  to 
come.  The  corrupt  world  needed  such  a  purifi- 
cation. The  war  was  not  an  act  of  God,  but 
rather  the  results  of  the  accumulation  of  our 
own  evil  deeds.  Because  peoples  and  nations 
did  not  act  in  accordance  with  justice,  and  t5rran- 
nized  innocent  men,  this  war  had  to  sweep  away 
all  remnants  of  autocracy,  absolutism  and  mili- 
tarism, and  usher  in  an  era  of  democracy,  equal- 
ity before  the  law,  and  international  peace." 

As  one  studies  deeply  into  the  spirit  and  phil- 
osophy of  the  Bahai  Religion,  one  is  impressed 
with  its  similarity  to  the  principles  of  the  teach- 
ings of  Christ.  Christ  advocated  peace,  but  dur- 
ing these  nineteen  centuries  there  has  been  no 
peace  between  men  because  that  spirit  of  peace 
has  not  become  a  reality  between  nations ;  yet  we 
are  told  that  the  stone  which  was  rejected  by 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  83 

the  builders  would  become  the  chief  cornerstone 
of  the  temple.  Many  isolated  experiences  of  in- 
dividuals prove  that  the  Christ  philosophy  of  the 
Sermon  on  the  Mount  can  be  applied  with  suc- 
cess in  one's  individual  relations  with  others,  but 
until  now  the  nations  have  rejected  the  actual 
practice  of  this  philosophy  as  being  unsuited  to 
their  methods  of  solving  their  international  prob- 
lems. But  now  in  the  exposition  of  the  workinj 
philosophy  of  the  Bahais  one  finds  a  safe  and  an 
adequate  connection  between  the  spiritual  ideals 
of  religion  and  material  world  conditions,  which 
offers  a  practical  solution  for  the  peace  of  na- 
tions, and  one  quite  possible  of  an  early  attain- 
ment if  the  nations  are  able  to  carry  out  these 
high  ideals  and  principles,  bringing  them  out 
from  the  realm  of  the  ideal  to  be  resdized  in  thej 
world  of  reality. 

THE  HOPE  OF  THE  NATIONS. 

While  the  mere  cessation  of  open  hostilities 
on  the  fields  of  battle  in  Europe  has  marked  one 
great  epoch  of  peace,  the  world  has  not  yet  at- 
tained to  the  real  foundation  of  a  lasting  peace. 
This  lasting  world  peace  cannot  come  until  in^ 
ternational,  economic  and  social  justice  is  estab- 
lished, and  not  before  the  psychological  causes 
of  greed,  desire  for  national  aggrandizement  at 
the  expense  of  other  nations,  hatred  and  animos-  ( 


84  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

lity  are  wiped  out  between  the  different  classes, 
{^tions,  races  and  religions.  Suffering  humanity 
will  surely  look  with  sympathy  and  with  a  broad- 
ness and  a  far-seeing  vision  upon  a  religious 
teaching  which  is  diffusing  through  the  world 
such  a  constructive  philosophy  for  the  recon- 
struction of  society  as  one  finds  being  promul- 
gated by  the  followers  of  this  movement. 

GROWTH  OF  THE  BAHAI  RELIGION. 

The  movement  under  The  Bab  was  confined 
to  Persia  and  the  adjacent  countries.  During 
the  ministry  of  Baha'o'Uah,  the  message  was 
taken  to  various  other  countries  of  the  Orient 
and  now  has  spread  the  world  around.  There 
are  not  only  centers  of  Bahai  teaching  in  Qiina, 
Japan,  Burma,  India,  Persia,  Turkistan,  Cau- 
casia, the  Turkish  countries  and  in  Egypt,  but 
there  are  Bahai  centers  in  France,  Germany, 
England,  and  throughout  the  United  States  and 
/Canada.  This  growth  has  been  a  comparatively 
\  slow  but  steady  one.  It  is  not  limited  by  relig- 
ious or  racial  conditions,  which  is  proven  by 
the  many  heterogeneous  elements  which  this 
cause  is  assimilating  and  fusing  into  one  element, 
which  is  the  world  type  of  man. 

The  universal  principles  of  truth  which  the 
Bahai  Movement  is  teaching  are  already  clearly 
seen  in  the  way  in  which  this  teaching  appeals 


AND  RECONSTRUCTION  85 

to  people  of  all  religions,  races,  and  nationalities. 
The  moment  that  an  individual  becomes  touchecT^ 
by  the  Bahai  spirit  he  becomes  a  citizen  of  the  I 
world,  quite  freed  from  the  limitations  of  his  \ 
former  outlook  or  environment,  while  his  former 
social  and  religious  prejudices  are  changed  into 
a  desire  to  do  something  toward  forming  a  world 
brotherhood  through  tangible  service  to  his  fel- 
low men.  In  the  Bahai  meetings — notably  those 
in  the  Orient — one  sees  Christians,  Jews,  Mos- 
lems, Zoroastrians,  Hindus  and  Buddhists  min- 
gling as  brothers  and  eating  at  the  same  tables. 
It  has  been  the  writer's  privilege  to  travel  ex- 
tensively and  to  attend  many  such  reunions.  He 
has  spent  much  time  in  the  Oriental  countries 
and  has  seen  the  spiritual  blending  of  the  Orient 
and  Occident,  which  process  is  being  brought 
about  by  the  love  and  devotion  of  the  Bahais  one 
for  another.  These  people  are  really  demon- 
strating the  power  of  divine  love,  for  with  them 
it  is  so  powerful  as  to  overcome  all  religious  and 
racial  antipathy  and  is  producing  real  brother- 
hood and  peace. 

Already  the  Bahai  ideals  are  finding  a  warm 
welcome  among  the  more  progressive  Moslems 
in  various  parts  of  the  Oriental  world  as  well  as 
among  the  Hindus  and  Zoroastrians  in  India,  the 
Buddhists  in  Burma  and  Japan,  and  the  Jews  and 
Christians  in  various  parts  of  the  Orient  and  Oc- 


86  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

cident.  The  Bahai  teaching  does  not  come  to 
the  people  of  these  divers  religions  to  destroy 
their  faith  in  the  truths  of  their  prophets.  In- 
stead this  movement  seeks  to  confirm  them  in 
the  true  principles  of  the  religion  which  they 
already  hold,  while  the  universal  application  of 
these  principles  of  religion  as  taught  by  the 
Bahais  come  a  uniting  power  to  draw  all 
of  these  different  religious  elements  into  one 
great  harmonious  whole.  The  several  testi- 
nibnies  of  Oriental  travelers  who  have  contract- 
ed with  the  Bahais  in  those  lands  assure  us  that 
the  movement  is  embracing  a  multitude  of  heter- 
ogeneous religious  elements,  and  that  through  it 
already  many  Christians,  Jews,  Moslems,  Zoro- 
astrians,  Buddhists  and  Hindus  are  united  in 
that  spirit  of  universal  religious  brotherhood 
which  has  been  the  hope  of  the  prophets  and 
religious  seers  down  through  the  ages. 


w 


AND   RECONSTRUCTION  87 

AN  EXHORTATION  BY  ABDUL  BAHA. 

"O  People!  The  doors  of  the  Kingdom  are 
opened — the  Sun  of  Truth  is  shining  upon  the 
world— the  fountains  of  life  are  flowing— the 
daysprings  of  mercy  have  appeared — the  greatest 
and  most  glorious  light  is  now  manifest  to  il- 
luminate the  hearts  of  men.  Wake  up  and  hear 
the  voice  of  God  calling  from  all  parts  of  the 
supreme  world — *Come  unto  me,  O  ye  children 
of  men ;  come  unto  me,  O  ye  who  are  thirsty,  and 
drink  from  this  sweet  water  which  is  descending 
in  torrents  upon  all  parts  of  the  globe !' 

Now  is  the  time!    Now  is  the  accepted  time! 

Look  ye  at  the  time  of  Christ;  had  the  people^ 
realized  that  the  Holy  Spirit  of  God  was  speak-  i 
ing  to  them  through  His  Divine  mouth  they 
would  not  have  waited  three  centuries  before  1 
accepting  Him.  And  now  is  it  meet  for  you  that  f 
ye  are  sleeping  upon  the  beds  of  idleness  and 
neglect,  while  the  Father  foretold  by  Christ  has 
come  amongst  us  and  opened  the  greatest  door 
of  bounteous  gifts  and  divine  favors?  Let  us 
not  be  like  those  in  past  centuries  who  were 
deaf  to  His  call  and  blind  to  His  beauty ;  but  let 
us  try  and  open  our  eyes  that  we  may  see  him, 
and  open  our  ears  that  we  may  hear  Him,  and 
cleanse  our  hearts  that  He  may  come  and  abide 
in  our  temples.  _ 


88  THE  BAHAI  REVELATION 

These  days  are  the  days  of  faith  and  deeds — 
not  the  days  of  words  and  lip  service.  Let  us 
arise  from  the  sleep  of  negligence  and  realize 
what  a  great  feast  is  prepared  for  us,  first  eating 
thereof  ourselves,  then  giving  unto  others  who 
are  thirsting  for  the  water  of  knowledge  and 
hungering  for  the  bread  of  life. 

These  great  days  are  swiftly  passing  and  once 
gone  can  never  be  recalled;  so  while  the  rays  of 
the  Sun  of  Truth  are  still  shining,  and  The  Center 
of  The  Covenant  of  God  is  manifest,  let  us  go 
forth  to  work,  for  after  a  while  the  night  v/ill 
come  and  the  way  to  the  vineyard  will  not  then 
be  as  easy  to  find. 

The  light  of  knowledge  hath  appeared,  before 
which  the  darkness  of  every  superstitious  fancy 

Iwill  be  annihilated.  The  hosts  of  the  supreme 
concourse  are  descending  to  assist  all  those  who 
rise  up  to  serve  their  Lord,  to  subdue  and  gain 
the  victory  over  the  city  of  the  hearts,  to  pro- 
claim the  glad  tidings  of  the  coming  of  the  Lord, 
and  to  unite  the  souls  of  His  creatures." 


Distributed  by 

Babai  PablisMng  Society 

p.  0.  Box  283,  Chicago,  Illinois 


These  books  are  sold  at  a  price 
just  sufficient  to  cover  the  cost  of 
printing   and  handling. 

The  Mashrak-El-Azkar 

By  Chas.   Mason  Remey. 

Comprising — Quotations  from 
Abdul  Baha's  words — An  his- 
torical sketch  of  the  Bahai 
Movement — A  general  explana- 
tion of  the  Mashrak-El-Azkar 
(Bahai  Temple) — A  description 
of  the  Mashrak-El-Azkar  in 
Eshkhabad  in  Russian  Turkistan 
and — An  account  of  the  pre- 
paratory work  for  building  the 
first  Mashrak-E  l-Azkar  in 
America,  with  descriptions  and 
illustrations  of  an  exhibit  of 
nine  preliminary  designs  for 
this  building,  showing  various 
treatments  in  different  styles  of 
architecture. 

This  book  contains  a  portrait 
of  Abdul  Baha  and  nineteen 
architectural  illustrations. 

A  large  volume,  bound  in  cloth, 
$1.00. 

Postage — additional. 


This  book  weighs  2  pounds.  For 
postage,  see  parcel  post  rate  between 
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Bahai  Teaching. 

By  Chas.  Mason  Remey. 

Containing  quotations  from  the 
Bahai  Sacred  Writings  and  sev- 
eral previously  published  articles 
upon  the  history  and  aims  of  the 
Teaching. 

Bound  in   cloth $  .60 

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Constructive  Principles  of  the 

Bahai  Movement. 

By  Chas.  Mason  Remey. 

A  booklet  containing  a  brief  sum- 
mary of  the  history,  institutions 
and  object  of  the  Cause,  with 
special  emphasis  upon  those  uni- 
versal principles  for  world  prog- 
ress, religious,  social,  and  eco- 
nomic which  are  foremost 
amongst  the  burning  questions 
of  the  day  now  uppermost  in 
the  minds  of  thinkers. 

Bound  in  cloth $  .40 

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Through  Warring  Countries  to 
the  Mountain  of  God. 

By  Chas.   Mason  Remey. 

An   account   of  some  of   the   ex- 

geriences  of  two  American  Ba- 
ais  in  France,  England,  Ger- 
many, and  other  countries,  on 
their  way  to  visit  Abdul  Baha 
in  the  Holy  Land,  in  the  year 
1914. 

This  book  of  travel  is  in  the 
form  of  a  fac-simile  of  the  au- 
thor's manuscript.  It  contains  a 
hitherto  unpublished  portrait  of 
Abdul  Baha,  with  twenty-eight 
photographic  illustrations  o  f 
groups  of  people  and  places  con- 
nected with  the  Bahai  Cause. 

A    large    volume    bound    in 
cloth    $2.00 

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The  Bahai  Movement 

By   Chas.    Mason   Remey. 

This  book  describes  the  principles 
of  the  Bahai  Movement  and  out- 
lines the  history  of  the  Cause. 

Bound    in    cloth $.50 

Postage  10c  additional. 


Observations     of    a    Bahai 
Traveler. 

By  Chas.  Mason  Remey. 

Treats  of  travels  among  the 
Bahais  of  the  Orient  and  of  the 
Teachinp:s  from  the  viewpoint  of 
the  various  world  religions;  also 
a  brief  history  of  the  Movement. 
Has  12  illustrations  and  one  map. 


Bound  in  cloth. 


.$  .60 


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The  Bahai  Revelation 
and  Reconstruction. 
By  Chas.  Mason  Remey. 

A  brief  history  of  the  Bahai 
Movement  and  an  exposition  of 
some  of  its  most  salient  principles 
with  special  emphaesis  upon  its 
peace  prog-ram  and  the  influence  of 
relifirion  for  the  harmony  and  the 
peace  of  the  nations. 


Contains 
Baha. 


a   portrait   of    Abdul 


Bound  in  cloth $1.00 

Postagre,  10c  additional. 


The  Peace  of  the  World. 
By  Chas.  Mason  Remey. 

A  presentation  of  the  Constructive 
Peace  Tradings  of  the  Bahai  Re- 
ligion. 

Bound  in  cloth $  .75 

Postage,  10c  additional. 


The  New  Day. 

By  Chas.  Mason  Remey. 

A  brief  statement  of  the  history 
and  teachings  of  the  Bahai  Revel- 
ation. 

A  booklet  bound  in  paper. 

Price $    .15 

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100  copies $12.00 

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